The inaugural European Week of Action for Girls “Girls Summit” took place on 11 October to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. Held under the theme of girls’ empowerment, through personal testimony and collaborative discussion, the Summit demonstrated that “Girls can…” thrive, inspire, and succeed, and how policy-makers in Brussels and elsewhere can help them to achieve this.
The Summit brought together high-profile speakers, politicians, and – most importantly – girls from around the world to tell their stories and to tell us what they need to succeed! Speakers included:
- Inspiring girls and young women from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, telling their stories of girl empowerment and what they think “Girls Can”
- Kim Chakanetsa, journalist and presenter of The Conversation on the BBC World Service
- Irena Andrassy, Deputy Head of Cabinet, Commissioner Mimica
- Barbara Pesce Monteiro, Director of the United Nations in Brussels
- Aline Zeler, captain of the Belgian national women’s football team, the Belgian Red Flames
As part of the European Week of Action for Girls 2017, the Girls Summit demonstrated what girls can achieve when their rights are respected and protected. When they are protected, empowered and supported to fulfil their rights, girls can thrive, inspire and succeed.
By demonstrating that girls can thrive, inspire, and succeed if the right tools are put at their disposal, the European Week of Action 2017 raised awareness of the daily reality of girls across the world, particularly in the fields of protection from violence, recognition of sexual and reproductive rights, leadership, education and employment. It highlighted the key role girls themselves play as drivers of change and development, and the importance of engaging them in decisions which affect them.