The European Week of Action for Girls (EWAG) concludes today, Friday 11 October, with the International Day of the Girl. In its seventh year, the EWAG calls on the EU to better protect the rights of girls through external actions in order to fight discrimination and to raise awareness to persisting gender inequality issues. This year’s topic is #girlsspeakout with a focus on girls’ right to education, economic empowerment, girls’ and young women’s participation in decision-making and freedom from (gender-based) violence.

This year’s EWAG gives girls the opportunity to speak out and talk to EU-decision makers on what needs to be done to shape a better future for girls. In the field of education, they demand that the EU institutions promote quality, gender-sensitive, accessible and inclusive education for all girls and young women in all EU external and internal policies. The public event Girls speak out in the European Parliament on Wednesday 9 October brought together youth advocates from around the globe and gave them room for an exchange on how the EU can scale up its commitment for girls to pursue their goals and achieve their dreams.

EI and ETUCE call on education trade unions to support the activism and leadership of many girls speaking out for a just, equitable and sustainable world, and to demand from their governments inclusive and quality education for all. The research carried out in the ETUCE project Empowering education trade unions to address gender equality in the teaching profession through social dialogue, shows a strong need to teach about gender equality, equal rights and mutual respect from the earliest age with the aim tackling gender segregation in study fields and career choices, and to combat gender stereotypes and gender-based discrimination in the education and society as a whole.

Check out EI’s statement for International Day of the Girl.