Arab Girls’ Summit: A space for girls and young women to make their voices heard

To mark International Day of the Girl Child 2022, the Arab Girls’ Summit was held for the first time from 10 to 12 October in Amman, Jordan.

Participants

Participants at the Arab Girls’ Summit.

The first Arab Girls’ Summit was hosted by the National Council for Family Affairs of Jordan in cooperation with the League of Arab States (LAS), Plan International Jordan, UNFPA Arab States Regional Office and UNICEF Regional Office in the Middle East and North Africa.

Barriers to Arab girls’ rights

Although adolescent girls constitute 8.9% of the population of the Arab countries, child and adolescent girls still face many challenges. 1 in 5 girls under the age of 18 is married. Girls also suffer gender inequality in education and work. Despite the progress made, many girls are still vulnerable to harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and its serious physical and psychological consequences. 
 
The summit, which was attended by over 150 attendees, provided an opportunity for over 50 adolescent girls between the ages of 13-19 from 18 Arab countries as well as decision-makers to discuss 4 thematic areas:

  1. Health and well-being
  2. Learning and livelihoods
  3. Freedom from violence and access to justice
  4. Participation and leadership. 

Empowerment for Arab girls

The summit promoted regional efforts aimed at gender equality and the empowerment of adolescent girls in the Arab countries and provided effective support for the rights of child and adolescent girls by guaranteeing commitments from officials, decision-makers and LAS Member State representatives from Egypt, UAE, Libya, Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar and Jordan.

The summit also promoted dialogue and exchange of knowledge on the unique challenges facing girls and young women in the Arab region. 

The summit organising partners hoped to encourage investment in campaigns ensuring girls’ participation at local, national and regional levels by targeting development partners, initiatives, active groups, Member States of LAS partners and regional stakeholders.