Girls as drivers of change – European Week of Action for Girls

Oct 9, 2013

Official banner of the European Week of Action for Girls (Brussels, 11-18 October 2013). Produced by Plan EU Office.


The third annual European Week of Action for Girls is taking place from 11 to 18 October 2013, timed to coincide with the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October. This year’s ‘week of action’ held in Brussels will highlight the barriers girls face worldwide in accessing their rights through policy, media, campaigning and youth events.

For millions of girls worldwide, their dreams, ambitions and plans are shattered simply because they are girls. Poverty, discrimination and violence combine to deny millions of girls around the world their basic rights, including to education, healthcare, adequate and nutritious food, and protection. Gender-based discrimination is often deeply rooted in social and cultural attitudes and norms, and reinforced through discriminatory national legislation or policies, social structures and education curricula. However, if girls are empowered to participate in decision-making, in the life of their communities and in economic, civic and political life, everyone stands to benefit.

The European Week of Action for Girls will highlight the role girls play as drivers of change, calling on the EU to promote and protect girls’ rights worldwide by ensuring they are visible in EU policy and programming. Key objectives of the Week will be to:

  • Ensure that girls’ voices are heard by EU policy makers on issues that affect them.
  • Raise visibility and awareness of girls’ discrimination in developing countries and the consequences of this. 

The programme for the Week will include:

  • The launch of a Girls’ Rights Gazette featuring high level articles by EU policymakers, the UN and civil society.
  • The organization of a photographic exhibition on the impact on girls of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
  • The public screening of Girl Rising, a documentary film telling the stories of nine girls and documenting the power of girls’ education.
  • A series of Roundtable debates hosted by the European Parliament on adolescent girls in emergencies, adolescent pregnancy, and girls and the new post-2015 development framework.

The European Week of Action for Girls is organized by Plan EU Office, under the patronage of the European Parliament and in partnership with United Nations Brussels, including UNDP.