Girls connect to shape the EU-Africa Partnership and unlock girls’ power!

When: Tuesday 13th October at 10.00-11.00
Where: Tune in through Facebook live stream

For the EU-Africa Partnership to truly stand up for girls and gender equality, policy-makers must listen to what girls and young women have to say, and understand what empowerment means to them. UNICEF’s U-Report Ambassadors have asked young people around the world about challenges, needs and dreams around climate change, digitalisation, jobs and skills and peace and security, as well as gender equality and gender-based violence. The European Week of Action for Girls (EWAG) 2020 young advocates have developed their own set of recommendations to the European Union (EU) in four key areas: sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Education and Economic Empowerment and Political Participation. These two groups of young people will exchange with EU officials about girls’ rights and gender equality in EU policies and programmes, and about how their partnership with Africa can unlock girls’ power. 

This event  – on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl (11th October), will bring together Khonaf, Silke, Nancy, Cyril and Siatra, five young advocates from Europe and Africa, with Ambassador Mara Marinaki, EU’s Principal Advisor on Gender in the European External Action Service (EEAS), Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit “Gender, Human Rights and Democratic Governance” in the Directorate General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (DG DEVCO), Amanda Chukwudozie, Youth Engagement Lead, African Union Commissionand Yasmine Ouirhrane, Expert on Peace & Security at AU-EU Youth Hub, Founder of We Belong, as moderator, to discuss girls’ stories, challenges and dreams and how the EU-Africa Partnership and dialogue with decision- and policy-makers can result in lasting progress for each and everyone one of them.

Khonaf, Silke, Nancy, Cyril and Siatra understand the principle of “Nothing about us, without us”. Young people, and especially girls and young women, have become increasingly vocal to call upon their leaders to stand with them, for their futures! This event is an opportunity to listen to what they have to say. Come and join us!

About the panel

Cyril, 23, Ghana

Cyril is a 23-year old content creator from Ghana, who loves graphic designing and photography for advocacy purposes. He uses graphic designing and photography to produce advocacy materials to excite young people and the general public into action, in particular around SRHR and youth participation. He is driven by passion to inform, educate and advocate. Through this he has understood how  to communicate and advocate against issues of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health and the standard protocols employed therein.  He has designed materials for many SRHR oriented organisations including but not limited to IPPF-African Region, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, UNFPA-Ghana, UNICEF-U-Report and many others.

Khonaf, 19, Sweden  

My name is Khonaf and I am a youth advocate in Plan International Sweden since 2019. The role I have as a member of the “Impact committee”, which we in Swedish call Påverkansutskottet (PUR) is to be an activist for women and girls’ rights all around the world.




Nancy, 15, Sierra Leone

At only 15, Nancy  has been a Youth Leader with World Vision in Sierra Leone for 3 years now. She is very active in her community and participates in street sensitisation on ending violence against children. She also raises awareness on the radio to serve as a voice of the voiceless and engages with stakeholders such as religious leaders, authorities, district medical officers etc,. She is particularly proud of her engagement in the “It Takes a World to End Violence Against Children” campaign and advocates to end gender-based violence and violence against children in her community. This engagement was reinforced in the midst of COVID-19, as she called on her government to prioritise children’s issues in their pandemic response in Sierra Leone. 

In her free time, Nancy enjoys dancing, especially African dance-hall and afrobeat such as shaku shaku.

Siatra, 22, Zimbabwe

Siatra is a 22-year old, highly motivated youth advocate from Zimbabwe with a strong commitment to helping disadvantaged children and youth, families and communities realize their potential and promote social inclusion. She aims to promote and advocate for meaningful youth participation and leadership, in partilar around SRHR/ HIV and Gender Based violence. She’s a reporter for Generation Unlimited,  a global platform bringing together private sectors, governments, CSOs and International organisations around one common goal: transforming education, employment and entrepreneurial outcomes for young people around the world at a global and local level. She has collaborated with a number of organisations, including but not limited to UNICEF, Terre des Hommes, ROOTS Africa, Cultiv8 Africa  and many other.

Silke, 24, Belgium

Silke joined the Belgian Youth Ambassador programme in March, but she has been active in anti-racism and gender equality movements for over 8 years now. 

She is a law student at the University of Antwerp. Next semester she will start a Masters in international law, with a focus on human justice and sustainable development. She has a passion for women’s rights and, throughout her career, wants to focus on quality education for girls all around the world, as she believes that empowering women will benefit the world in many ways. She often travels and hosts couchsurfers- she loves learning about different cultures and people’s experiences.

Ambassador Mara Marinaki, EU’s Principal Advisor on Gender at the European External Action Service

Mara Marinaki is the first-ever European External Action Service (EEAS) Principal Advisor on Gender and on the implementation on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and all other gender-related matters, and assumed her post as of 1st October 2015. Before, she served as the EEAS Managing Director for Global/Multilateral Issues and Human Rights, where she handled among her key human rights’ priorities the promotion of all issues pertaining to women’s empowerment and strengthening the role of women and girls in societies.

Marinaki is a law graduate from the Law School of the University of Athens & in International Law from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. Ms. Marinaki also holds a joint MA/LLM degree on International Law and International Relations.

Chiara Adamo, Head of Unit “Gender, Human Rights and Democratic Governance” in the Directorate General for Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (DG DEVCO) 

Chiara Adamo studied International and Diplomatic Relations in Gorizia, Italy, and in Louvain-La –Neuve, Belgium, during her Erasmus year. She specialised in European Law in Rome (ISTUD) and in European Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges, with a Master thesis on the fight against trafficking in women in the EU. She joined the Commission, in 2000, and started in the Justice and Home Affairs area. She is now Head of Unit “Gender, Human Rights and Democratic Governance” in DG DEVCO since 2018.

Amanda Chukwudozie, Youth Engagement Lead, African Union Commission

Amanda Chukwudozie is a youth development specialist with a focus on evidence, youth engagement and meaningful participation. She currently works at the African Union Commission’s Youth Division, where she leads programmes and projects on youth engagement in Africa. She was previously leading the Knowledge Management and Research work of the Youth Division, and coordinated the African Young Researchers Programme to produce the 2019 Status of African Youth Report. Her current portfolio includes leadership programmes, exchange programmes and platforms for youth participation. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health.

Yasmine Ouirhrane, expert on Peace & Security and founder of We Belong, as moderator

Yasmine is the founder of We Belong, a platform and podcast that amplifies the voice of the New Daughters of Europe. She is also an advocate for Social and Gender Justice in Europe and she was recognised Young European of the Year 2019 by the Schwarzkopf Foundation, EDD Young Leader by the European Commission and Women Deliver Young Leader. 

She is also an expert on Peace & Security at the AU-EU Youth Cooperation Hub. In this role, she drafted a proposal in tracking basic services in fragile contexts to feed into peace processes, currently under implementation in the Lake Chad Basin Region. She is also a member of the Gender Innovation Agora at UN Women and she provided recommendations to dozens of institutions, including EEAS, Foreign Affairs Canada, Wilton Park, The Elders and CMI World Bank.