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The European Development Days in Brussels

15 May 2018
On 5 and 6 June, the European Commission is organising the 12th edition of their European Development Days (EDDs). This year the two-day event will aim to bring together the European Union's commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development this aligns with Plan International’s overall ambition to ensure that 100 million girls will be able to learn, lead, decide and thrive by 2020. We believe Girls’ Rights are Human Rights and therefore call on the EU to place girls at the heart of their agenda to invest in girls for them to become active drivers of change and can contribute to shaping the decisions that matter most to them.

During this year’s EDDs Plan International’s CEO Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen will be taking part in a variety of discussions urging that girls’ and women’s voices be amplified in the global movement for gender equality. To join us, please register for the EDDs by 18th May.

Eliminating Violence in and around Schools and other Educational Settings
June 5 at 09:30 – 10:45
Violence in and around schools and other educational settings is one of the most significant barriers to achieving gender equality in and through education, and seriously undermines efforts to achieve SDG4 and SDG5 of Agenda 2030. This panel will comprise a dialogue between key stakeholders currently working on multi-level partnership initiatives to eliminate  school-related gender-based violence(SRGBV). More than 246 million children experience gender-based violence in or around schools annually. This is a violation of their human rights, and a form of gender-discrimination that has far-reaching physical, psychological and educational consequences. Panelists will share experiences of supporting teachers, school leaders, students and communities to take action to end SRGBV.

Amplifying girls’ and women’s voices in the global movement for gender equality
June 5, 18:00-19:30
At the heart of SDGs is the drive to fulfil girls’ and women’s rights and achieve gender equality. However the pace of progress has been slow with girls and women poorly represented and their voices ignored. This is slowly changing. More and more, individuals are coming together to demand respect for girls’ and women’s rights and gender equality. This session explores how we can promote the participation and collective leadership of girls and women within the broader movement for gender equality. The scale of change needed will only be possible if all members of the movement work together – from grassroots to global, from youth to NGOs, governments and the private sector. However, how do we ensure that those who are most impacted by rights violations are the ones leading the movement?

Advancing gender equality in and through education: the way forward
June 5, 18:00-19:30
Significant gender gaps remain in education. Girls living with disabilities, in poverty, and in remote areas face barriers to accessing school. Lack of safety and hygiene facilities and uneven quality teaching can exacerbate girls’ exclusion from education. But education also has the potential to become a catalyst for transformation, equipping individuals with the capability to reduce gender inequality, and can be a driver to leverage goals of the 2030 Agenda. Best practices to support gender equality in and through education will be shared and key questions will be addressed: How to combine support to girls’ education and gender equality in education? How to respond where boys are disadvantaged? How to operationalise the transformative power of education to foster inclusive societies?

Cities for girls and young women = cities for all
June 6, 11:30-13:00
The New Urban agenda and the SDGs provide an ambitious framework to deal with the challenges of urbanisation in the world. In particular, ensuring universal access to green and public space. To build these inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities it is key to involve the most vulnerable groups in the population in the design of the urban public policies that have a direct impact on them.  Girls and young women are both among the vulnerable and excluded population, and at the same time a driver for development of cities and local communities.The session will seek to identify the elements of public policy that would be needed to ensure that both girls and boys, women and men of all ages can access and enjoy public space for social, economic or recreational uses.

Defining the building blocks for an EU strategy to end child marriage
June 6, 11:30-13:00
Child marriage is a key obstacle to achieving SDG 5. Besides the negative and harmful impact on individuals, child marriage also negatively impacts communities and countries’ development more widely. Parliament’s panel aims to identify how to ensure that existing legal instruments are successfully transposed and applied, what can promote the necessary political and social change and what kind of EU actions need to be scaled-up over the coming years. In order to do so, contributing factors need to be understood and the voices of those directly concerned need to be heard. The panel will provide a forum for those affected, for international experts, development practitioners and decision-makers to jointly formulate recommendations in view of drawing-up an EU strategy against early and forced marriages.

Throughout the entire European Development Days you can find us at Stand 83 in the Global Village where you can test your knowledge on Girls’ Rights, you might be having a speed date to discuss how to strengthen the position of girls’ rights on the EU agenda and can share with us why you think the EU should #investingirls!