Girls Speak Out
The European Week of Action for Girls 2019, that took place from 8-11 October, was all about Girls Speaking Out. The week brought together over 15 youth advocates from all over the world to speak out to the EU’s newly elected decision-makers on what matters most to them.
The European Week of Action for Girls 2019 gave girls the opportunity to talk to address 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 girls’ right to education, economic empowerment, girls’ and young women’s participation in decision-making and freedom from (gender-based) violence. The youth advocates asked the EU to better protect and champion the rights of girls, particularly through its external action.
Girls Speak Out in the European Parliament
Wednesday 9th October 2019, 13.00-15.00
European Parliament in Brussels
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.