European Week of Action for Girls 2017 | Plan International Skip to main content

European Week of Action for Girls 2017

Girls Can… Thrive, Inspire, Succeed!


Now in its 7th edition, the European Week of Action for Girls is organised every year in Brussels to celebrate the International Day of the Girl on 11 October, by Plan International EU Office and seven other civil society organisations committed to ensuring all girls around the world can realise their rights and potential. This year, it was granted the high patronage of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the United Nations.

The European Week of Action for Girls 2017 will put the spotlight on what needs to be done to overcome the barriers girls around the world face. Through a series of policy, advocacy and campaign activities, we will push the EU to do more, and do better. Our objective is to provide concrete recommendations for how to better protect and promote girls’ rights and empowerment through EU policies, practices and programmes so that they especially benefit the most marginalised and hardest to reach girls.


Held under the headline theme of girls’ empowerment, “Girls can…”, the European Week of Action for Girls 2017 reflects our strive for a world in which girls can:

  • be free from violence and take their own decisions about their lives and bodies (Girls Can Thrive),
  • become leaders and inspire change from the local to the global level (Girls Can Inspire),
  • and pursue their goals and achieve their dreams through education (Girls Can Succeed).

Through the interventions of girls across the world, the European Week of Action for Girls will raise awareness of their daily realities, and highlight the key role girls themselves play as drivers of change and development, and the importance of engaging them in decisions which affect them.


In the framework of the European Week of Action for Girls, Plan International EU Office is organising a series of very exciting Girls Takeovers of high-level EU leaders’ positions. Throughout the Week, Maria Fernanda and Ritah, two young girls’ rights advocates from Brazil and Uganda will be taking over the positions of Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, Mara Marinaki, EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender, as well as two MEPs, Linda McAvan, Chair of the Development Committee, and Heidi Hautala. They will also intervene in the European Parliament to share their views on the implementation of the Gender Action Plan.


Young women and girls are systematically denied access to power – from everyday, individual decisions concerning their own lives and bodies through to the highest level decision-making roles across politics, the economy and society. Takeovers give girls the opportunity to be in a position of power and to make a statement: girls can lead, and they can inspire. They can inspire change for themselves, their families, communities and countries, as well as at the global level. They can also inspire other girls to become agents of change themselves. Girls Takeovers are a call for a social and political revolution to tear down the barriers that continue to hold girls back. They are a first step towards the redefinition of gender norms and power relations, so that girls can finally realise their full potential.

Globally, more than 500 girls in 60 countries will take over the positions of hundreds of leaders in an emphatic statement. Learn more about Plan International’s global initiative here.

Learn more about the European Week of Action for Girls 2017 and its Programme here. Follow and join the debate using #EUGirlsWeek.