European Week of Action for Girls

The European Week of Action for Girls (EWAG) is a week-long programme of events and activities, based around the International Day of the Girl Child, on Friday 11th October.

Now in its seventh year, EWAG 2019 asked the EU to better protect and champion the rights of girls, particularly through its external action. Organised by a coalition of civil society organisations, and supported by the European Institutions and UN Agencies, the 2019 European Week of Action for Girls took place from 8 – 11 October.

The European Week of Action for Girls 2019 gave girls the opportunity to  talk to EU decision-makers and help shape a better world for all girls. They addressed EU leaders on what needs to be done to overcome the barriers they face and to ensure their rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.

This year was an important edition, taking place at the beginning of a new cycle for the EU institutions. With a new European Parliament and College of Commissioners, this EU leadership will set the vision for the EU and it is crucial that this builds on the current momentum towards greater gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Key topics of focus were be girls’ right to education, economic empowerment, girls’ and young women’s participation in decision-making and freedom from (gender-based) violence.

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2018 Edition

The 6th edition of The Week of Action took place from 8 – 12 October 2018.

EWAG collaborated with the United Nations, the Canadian Embassy and the Irish Embassy to present:

The Breadwinner
Parvana is an 11-year-old girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 2001. After the wrongful arrest of her father, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy to support her family. Working alongside a friend, she soon discovers a new world of freedom and danger. Drawing strength from the fantastical stories she invents, Parvana embarks on an epic quest to find her father and reunite her family.

Event

Girls Speak Out in the European Parliament

When
Wednesday 9th October 2019, 13.00-15.00

Where
European Parliament in Brussels

What

2019 EWAG Girls Speak Out – Public event programme

This youth-led public event, organised with the support of the S&D Group and EU40, brought together around 20 EWAG youth advocates, newly elected MEPs,  civil society and other EU officials to have an exchange on how the EU can scale up its commitment for girls to pursue their goals and achieve their dreams. The European Union must strengthen its role as a global champion for girls supporting their right to decide about their own lives, creating a world in which they can actively participate and thrive.

The EU has made strong promises to girls in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its policies and initiatives such as the new EU Consensus on Development, the Spotlight Initiative, and the Gender Action Plan II. Future EU leaders must continue putting girls at the centre of their external action and deliver on their promises!

Youth advocates presented the issues that matter most to them and exchanged with MEPs on steps to take to advance these issues. It was also an opportunity for MEPs to ask questions to the youth and hear their perspectives on what is needed globally to ensure girls’ rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Youth advocates spoke up on shaping the EU agenda to ensure the EU becomes a true global champion for girls.

Read the Parliament Magazine coverage of the event