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Girls Get Equal Listening Sessions

Girl activists are hopeful for a future where girls and young women, in all their diversity, are #FreeToBeOnline.

Instagram is listening! And Facebook and WhatsApp are too 

Watch the Instagram Live on International Women's Day
Watch the Instagram Live on International Women's Day @planinternational

Following the launch of our #FreeToBeOnline campaign, Instagram agreed to team up with girl activists from around the world to address online harassment. 

In November, we kicked off a series of Girls Get Equal Listening Sessions bringing together girl activists in direct conversation with Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. 

The Girls Get Equal Listening Sessions give girls themselves a say in how to make online safety a reality – including calling for stronger reporting mechanisms for violence that meet their needs and hold perpetrators to account. After all, they know the problem best. 

Calling for change so girls are #FreeToBeOnline 

 Ten girls and young women aged 15 – 22, and five young women civil society leaders, are engaging with Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.

This diverse group of 15 change-makers, activists and advocates are bringing together their collective expertise and experience, and crowd-sourcing the views of hundreds of girls in their networks. 

The girls are sharing their insights and requests for concrete changes with the platforms to help make them safer for girls everywhere.

Roadmap to a safer internet for girls   

  • The Girls Get Equal Listening Sessions kicked off on 18 November. The Girls Get Equal group and key representatives for Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp got to know each other and agreed collective hopes and ambitions for the collaboration.  
  • Between 10 - 20 December, the Girls Get Equal group crowdsourced the views of girls from different regions among their networks to ensure diverse views are considered in their wish list.   
  • 19 January - the Girls Get Equal Group create a wish list for improving girls’ safety on Facebook Platforms – incorporating all insights from global girls.  
  • 26 January - the Girls Get Equal Group and product and policy teams from Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp explore the wish list and other changes that could improve girls’ safety. Insights are documented and distributed to key stakeholders across Facebook platforms.  
  • In late April Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp share their learnings and details of the safety commitments they are making for girls. Watch this space...

Inspiring global girl and young women activists and allies

Inspiring girl and young women activists are joined by powerful allies from civil society organisations, bringing experience and expertise in advocating for safety online to the Girls Get Equal Listening Sessions. 

Hover to find out more about each member of the GGE group:

Ayumi, 17, Japan

Grassroots activist, writer and debater on gender and socioeconomic justice. 

Sneha, 17, India

Mobilises girls in her community and engages in high level discussions, as a powerful youth voice on harassment both online and offline. 

Sessi, 22, Benin

A young transwoman and human rights defender focused on gender equality and LGBTIQA+ rights.

Dorothy, 18, Philippines

An active leader and advocate on many gender equality issues across the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, including gender-based violence

EVA, 18, UK

Vocal intersectional feminist, striving for inclusion in her activism and providing a platform for marginalised voices within the movement. 

Laura, 17, Spain

Passionate activist, mobilising girls and local and national power-holders to defend girls’ rights online, so everyone can be online without fear. 

Bruna, 18, Brazil

A passionate change-maker, committed to supporting girls and young women, especially Black and Indigenous girls.

Stephany, 20, Kenya

An inspiring advocate for girls’ rights and a mentor to young future advocates. Stephany was one of the youth activists who helped to shape the Youth Toolkit for Girls Get Equal. 

Sandra, 15, USA

Advocate for gender equality and social justice. She leads a youth-led international organisation with a mission to inspire, educate and empower girls around the world. 

Kim, 21, Germany

A powerful global change-maker on girls’ rights, gender-based violence, gender stereotyping and equal opportunities. 

Ester, Minas Program, Brazil

Challenges race and gender stereotypes in STEM, and teaches girls to code. She is also a researcher on the impact of the internet on democracy, digital literacy, inequalities in access and online hate speech. 

Shatha, 7Amleh, Palestine

Feminist political activist, digital security trainer and group facilitator in sexuality and gender. 7Amleh works to protect the human rights of Palestinians in online spaces.

Seyi, Glitch, UK

Founder and Executive Director of Glitch. Dedicated to ending online abuse and championing digital citizenship. Seyi uses her lived experience and expertise to develop practical solutions with power-holders, and advocate for change.

Garnett, Pollicy, Kenya

Conducts research to make the internet safer for women and girls. She has researched many issues including how online gender-based violence affects women’s participation on Twitter. 

Audace, NNEDV, USA

Focused on the intersection between violence and technology and passionate about community and youth empowerment. Over a decade of experience working with survivors.

Sign the open letter so girls are #FreeToBeOnline 

Girls won’t stop calling for change until they are #FreeToBeOnline.  

Together we're calling on all the major social media platforms to take urgent action so girls are safe to speak up online without fear. 

If you haven't already, please sign the girls' open letter and amplify their voices. 

Sign the open letter