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Girls Speak Out in the European Parliament

11 October 2019
On Wednesday 9th October 15 young advocates coming from Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kosovo and various European countries came to the European Parliament to discuss with EU leaders how they can champion girls’ rights. This youth-led event titled “Girls Speak Out in the European Parliament” as part of the European Week of Action for Girls was organised with the support of the S&D Group, EU40, the Greens/ EFA in the European Parliament, the Intergoup on Children's Rights in the European Parliament and the European United Left/Nordic Green Left. More than 10 recently elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) such as Iratxe García Pérez, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament and Evelyn Regner, Chair of the FEMM Committee attended the event and responded to our driven advocates’ questions and demands to put girls at the centre of the EU agenda.

At this years’ lively debate, the young advocates exchanged views on how EU leaders can help to improve political participation, strengthen economic empowerment, ensure access to quality education for all and tackle violence and discrimination against girls and women. 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!

I want you all to listen and hear what we have to say, to validate our opinions and encourage us to move forward in our plans to change the world.

“I want you all to listen and hear what we have to say, to validate our opinions and encourage us to move forward in our plans to change the world.”, Laura, Plan International Youth Advocate from Ireland

“Youth holds the future, there’s no doubt about that. This is exactly one of the reasons why I decided to become politically active. Letting my generation’s voice be heard in institutions like the European Parliament, especially as a young woman, is what drives me. The youth advocates participating in the EWAG event “Girls Speak Out in the European Parliament” are in that sense not very different from me and having them in the European Parliament or involved in any other space for decision-making is a must. We need to listen to them and we should aim to ensure this happens worldwide.” Kira Peter-Hansen, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Denmark