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Move over, Sanna! Girl, 16, becomes Finland's prime minister for a day

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Aava Murto inteviewed by the media during her takeover of the post of Finnish prime minister
Aava Murto inteviewed by the media during her takeover of the post of Finnish prime minister   -   Copyright  Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP
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A 16-year-old girl stepped into the shoes of Finland's prime minister as part of a UN day to raise awareness about gender inequality.

Sanna Marin ceremoniously handed over the reins of power to Aava Murto ahead of the UN’s International Day of the Girl on October 11.

The "Girls Takeover" initiative saw Murto, from the small town of Vääsky in the south of Finland, meet with cabinet members and other MPs. She also delivered a joint statement alongside Marin, touching on how the country could help develop technology to improve opportunities for girls worldwide.

“Gender equality ambitions will fall short as long as girls are pushed aside from using and developing technology. Girls, too, have a digital future, and that is why girls should have a voice in technology,” Murto said.

Girls “need to better realise how important they are, and that they are as good as boys when it comes to technology”, she told AFP.

"I think young people could teach adults to be more innovative and to think more about the future," she added.

She also highlighted the harassment many girls around the world face online.

Finland is often cited as an example when it comes to supporting women’s rights, and the current centre-left coalition government is made up of five parties whose leaders are all female.

Marin is one of the world’s youngest government leaders at 34 and the Nordic nation's third female prime minister.

“Girls Takeover” also occurred at some Finnish companies, including in the technology sector.

Last year, girls took over the jobs of 1,800 leaders in more than 60 countries worldwide, the government said.