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Finnish teenager becomes president for a day

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By Josephine Joly with AFP
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Finnish 16-year-old Nella Salminen (L), President Sauli Niinisto (C) and MP Eva Biaudet stand at the Presidential Residence Mantyniemi in Helsinki, Finland, on October 6, 2021
Finnish 16-year-old Nella Salminen (L), President Sauli Niinisto (C) and MP Eva Biaudet stand at the Presidential Residence Mantyniemi in Helsinki, Finland, on October 6, 2021   -   Copyright  ANTTI AIMO-KOIVISTO / LEHTIKUVA / AFP
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Sixteen-year-old Nella Salminen stepped into the shoes of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö for a day on Wednesday.

Salminen took the helm of the nordic country as part of the #GirlsTakeover charity-sponsored global campaign to promote girls' rights in politics and business by Plan International.

She spent her time next to the real Nordic president meeting politicians and addressing a climate action conference.

"This whole day is like the best thing I've experienced in a long time," Salminen said. The teenager added that girls' potential should be better recognised and that they should be involved more in policymaking.

"It is not fair that decisions that influence me a lot have been made by decision-makers without asking my generation's opinion."

Nella also discussed the impact on gender of online misinformation with Niinistö, as part of this year's girls' takeover campaign. "Misinformation and disinformation on the internet have grown and grown, and it's really hard to find the correct information."

Finland's government is headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who became the world's youngest holder of the office in 2019 when she took power aged 34, leading a coalition of five centre-left parties who were all led by women.