To address girls’ participation and political empowerment, we recommend that the AU-EU Strategy and its implementation:
1. Lead by example by ensuring equal representation of women and men in their institutions and governments, challenging gender norms around political engagement and inspiring girls to become leaders. EWAG advocates have highlighted the importance of holding EU and AU decision-makers accountable to attain 50% of women representatives, including in management positions. They also call the AU-EU Partnership to shine light on the essential role played by women, including through public campaigns.
2. Support decision-makers, from regional institutions, to governments and local authorities to increase safe, inclusive and meaningful participation of girls at every step of the decision-making processes, and to translate their ideas into actions. EWAG advocates are calling for opportunities for participation and consultation that are adapted to each context, both in European and African countries, that could take the form of regional or local platforms for discussions, youth engagement through schools and the involvement of NGOs as intermediate actors. More flexible funding of smaller amounts is also important to support local youth organisations and girls’ rights activists. This would ensure that girls in all their diversity have the opportunity to speak up on what matters to them.
3. Recognise and amplify girls’ voices and build their capacity to participate and lead, EWAG advocates are calling for platforms and mechanisms for girls’ participation such as a training for women youth ambassadors, a European Youth Council, or a global day for girls’ advocates. These programmes have to be made accessible to European and African youth through different online and offline communications, including in schools and in the community. They should ensure that the platforms proposed are as inclusive as possible and take into consideration the diversity of young people and girls.