Group listening on a panel with 3 girls siting in front to the mic Group listening on a panel with 3 girls siting in front to the mic




What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is about influence. It’s organizing and working to align decision-makers to create change. There are many ways to advocate, on many levels — locally, nationally, and even globally.

Advocacy Toolkit
  1. Girl Up Academy

    Learn. Grow. Lead.

  2. Advocacy Issues

    Explore & Learn

  3. Club Challenge

    Challenge yourself

advocacy 101

Why is Advocacy Important?

Advocacy is the best tool for social, political, and economic change.

Some of our Club advocacy actions have led to meetings with Parliament in Brazil, prominent government officials in India, raising the legal age of marriage in Malawi. Girl Up Clubs have influenced U.S. Foreign Policy in the United States resulting in the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act to protect refugee girls, and the prevention of early and forced marriage as part of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA).

These are examples of political advocacy, but advocacy is broader than politics. Advocacy is actually influencing decision-makers to create any change.

Girl Up leaders around the world advocate by asking those in power to promote policies that positively impact the lives of girls. Girl Up provides ongoing opportunities for girls to create change through social action campaigns and advocacy efforts in their own communities.

Global Advocacy

Advocacy can look different in different places around the world. Check out our individual regional pages to learn how to be a global advocate.

  1. 3 Girl Up members (wearing girl power t-shirt) smile and talking with an official

    What advocacy looks like in the United States.

    Learn more
  2. An event picture with 9 Girl Up members have Girl Up T-shirt on

    What advocacy looks like in Mexico.

    Learn more
  3. Brazil

    What advocacy looks like in Brazil.

    Learn more
  4. two Girl Up members in Europe from different ethnic backgrounds smiling and together at the event listening to the speaker (close shot)

    What advocacy looks like in Europe.

    Learn more
  5. Southeast-Asia Girl Up 4 members group photo
    Southeast Asia

    What advocacy looks like in India.

    Learn more
  6. two African Girl Up members (in traditional African clothes) with a Girl Up staff

    What advocacy looks like in Africa.

    Learn more
  1. Middle East & North Africa

    What advocacy looks like in MENA.

    Learn more
  2. Latin America & The Caribbean

    What advocacy looks like in LatAm.

    Learn more
Advocacy Successes

Girl Up gives girls the resources and platform to start a movement wherever they are. Our members are creating the change they want to see in the world, starting in their local communities.

Together, our network of girl leaders is a force for global change – organizing and advocating for gender equality.

Girl Up is part of a community of organizations and individuals that have played an important role in advocating for girls’ rights. Together, we celebrate progress and achievements in advancing policies that promote the well-being of girls around the world.

Global Advocacy Impact

Girl leaders have influenced policy around the world, petitioning decision-makers, working with local and national organizations, even hosting their own advocacy bootcamps.

  • Girls are leading the way, mobilizing and supporting United Nations campaigns that advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Girl Up has supported UN and NGO programs that trained girl leaders to advocate on a national level, which in turn, helped increase the legal age of marriage for girls in Guatemala from 14 to 18 years and from 15 to 18 years in Malawi.
  • In Liberia, Girl Up supported United Nations efforts to ensure the passage and implementation of the Liberian Children’s Law.
  • In India, Girl Up has supported UNFPA on the development of a comprehensive State Strategy and Action Plan to prevent child marriage in Rajasthan.
  • Girl Up leaders around the world have raised more than $10 million for UN programs that help girls gain access to education, healthcare, avoid child marriage and have a chance at a brighter future.

Girl-Led Policy Change

Since 2010, Girl Up girl leaders advocated for girls’ education and safety globally, have taken action to advance national policies, and have used their platform to build a meaningful movement for gender equality.

  • In 2013, advocates across the international girl community, including Girl Up Club members, reached a key milestone when the U.S. Congress enacted foreign policy to help prevent early and forced marriage as part of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). Girl Up supporters rallied around the issue, coming together to take 17,000 online actions and hold dozens of meetings with their members of Congress.
  • In 2015, the Girls Count Act was signed into law by United States President Barack Obama, thanks to more than two years of advocacy by Girl Up leaders.
  • In 2019, bolstered by the efforts of girl leaders’ more than 20,000 advocacy actions over two years, the Protecting (Refugee) Girls’ Access to Education bill was signed into law by United States President Trump.
Advocacy for Menstrual Dignity in Brazil

In 2020, groups of Girl Up leaders from 3 regions across Brazil advocated for menstrual dignity and education resulting in:

  • State Representative Renan Ferreirinha presented a bill to reduce taxes on sanitary pads in Rio de Janeiro. The bill was approved in 2020 and ultimately increased consumers’ access to the products.
  • At the federal level, a bill sponsored by Congresswoman Tabata Amaral proposed the free distribution of sanitary pads in public spaces.
  • In SĂŁo Paulo, a bill introduced by State Representative Marina Helou tackled the issue on several fronts: in addition to free distribution and tax cuts, it also called for initiatives related to menstrual education, for incentives to the production of low-cost sanitary pads, and for the promotion of research.

As of 2021, girls are working to spur the preparation of bills in another 7 states across Brazil with the potential to impact thousands of lives.

Read more

Become an Advocate

To get started advocating for change, get educated to understand the problem, learn who the decision-makers are, and how to collaborate on a solution.


Give to Girl Up

Your support of our girl changemakers means Girl Up can continue to work toward a world where girls have equal value, opportunity, and the chance to reach their fullest potential. You can make a difference in the life of a girl by donating today.

How to Get Involved

All around the world, our network of a million supporters is mobilizing for gender equality. Will you stand with us?

  1. Careers + Internships

    Become the newest member of the Girl Up team!

    Apply today
  2. Alum Network

    Where former Girl Up activists & members can connect, grow, & give back as they navigate adulthood.

  3. a girl who is looking down and using her finger to scrolling the phone

    Sign up to get the latest news and happenings in Girl Up’s movement.

  4. a girl with big smile on her face wearing Gril Up t-shirt (close shot)
    Join our Movement

    Join more than 270,000 changemakers from 155 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

    Start a Club
  5. two girls are smiling and writing down notes and sharing a laptop
    Explore the Issues

    All issues are gender justice issues! Find out more about what our members are passionate about.

  6. Ayanna Pressley speaking on the #girlhero event
    Upcoming Events

    We’d love to see YOU at an in-person or virtual Girl Up event.

    Join us

Close Overlay