Girl Up is a movement dedicated to empowering girls with a goal to impact 100,000 girls by 2020.
Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010.
When girls help each other out, they empower each other and transform the world we live in.
Girl Up encourages girls to take action. It is led by a community of passionate advocates who raise awareness and funds with an aim to reach girls in places where it is hardest to be a girl.
According to the Girl Up, website: Girls are powerful when they’re educated, healthy, and safe.
Girl Up partners with celebrities, athletes, business leaders, and philanthropists who passionately work to empower adolescent girls worldwide.
Whatever their background is, every girl has the power to innovate themselves and the world around them.
Moreover, Girl Up global movement is involving empowered young women leaders who defend gender equality.
Like Sisterhood Agenda, they conduct leadership development training. Girl Up gives girls the resources and platform to start a movement for social change wherever they are. Their approach:
Partnership with the UN
Girl Up partnered with the United Nations to fund programs that mainly give girls an equal chance for health, education, opportunities, and a life free from violence.
To date, Girl Up has supported 34,095 girls.
Joint UN Programs
Since Girl Up’s launch in 2010, they have invested in joint UN in developing countries such as Liberia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Malawi.
These programs are focused on education, health, safety, and leadership. With the efforts of several UN agencies including UNICEF, UN Women, UNESCO and WHO, they all work together to address possible obstacles for girls.
UNHCR’s efforts in Ethiopia and Uganda
Girl Up partners up with UNHCR in Ethiopia and Uganda to aid girls in refugee camps, making sure they have access to quality education from primary school through secondary school.
They help give them access to educational materials, conducive school facilities, quality educators and include other learning opportunities to enhance their skills, for example, girls clubs.
UNFPA’s efforts In India and Guatemala
Girl Up partners with UNFPA with an aim to prevent child marriage and teenage pregnancy in India and Guatemala and to provide girls with skills to needed to improve their lives and lift up their families from poverty.
Peer educators teach girls about nutrition, money management and how to negotiate for their rights.
What are their key priorities?
- Education: inspires girls to go to school and ensure they get quality education
- Health: ensure access to health and nutrition awareness
- Safety: to protect girls from all gender-based violence
- Leadership: to give access to skills-building workshops and ensure equal opportunities
- Documentation: To make sure all girls receive birth documentation data, letting them know that they count.
Girls as advocates
What began as a campaign for American girls has now become a borderless movement. They have nearly half a million supporters and advocates, not just in the U.S. but around the world.
Girl Up’s investments in girls
Since their launch in 2010, Girl Up has raised more than $8,500,000 for programs that aim to improve the lives of adolescent girls.
Donations have supported programs in Guatemala, Liberia, Malawi, Ethiopia, India, and Uganda with priorities on education and healthcare.
To stay safe and have leadership opportunities and making sure they matter and are counted by their governments.
In Malawi, almost half of the girl population are married by the time they reach 18, a cultural practice that needs to be stopped to encourage girls to reach their full potential.
Girl Up helps girls know their rights and they are able to help girls stand up against child marriage.
The fruits of their efforts: In February 2015, Malawi passed a law that raises the legal age of marriage from 15 years old to 18 years old.
Similarly, Guatemala has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Latin America.
Advocates helped the successful passage of the law that increases the legal age from 14 years old to 18 years old.
The law protects young girls who are forced into marriage.
Through Girl Up funding and Let Girls Lead the Children’s Law of Liberia successfully passed in 2012.
The law ensures and protects children’s rights, offering protection from child marriage and provides aid on victims of domestic abuse.
U.S. foreign policy
There are countless advocates worldwide who support this cause. Clearly, child marriage is a violation of human rights.
Furthermore, it is a harmful and a discriminative practice and it drags down communities as well as economies. Girl Up believes:
“When girls are safe, healthy, educated, and empowered, research has shown that they help have healthier children, earn more income, and help grow economies
– making them powerful agents of positive change.”
Girl Up supporters were able to take 17,000 online actions and hold dozens of meetings with members of Congress on the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act.
In 2013, provisions preventing early and forced marriage were included in a reauthorization bill.