Voices

Celebrating International Day of the Girl with Girl Up

Girl Up Clubs & changemakers across the world honored the day by promoting gender justice with inspiring events, digital campaigns, and more!

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Ever since the UN General Assembly declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl (IDG), Girl Up Leaders have honored the day by promoting girls’ rights and addressing challenges girls face worldwide – including access to education and healthcare, and protection from discrimination, gender-based violence, and more. Whether organizing virtual events or taking action in person, Girl Up Leaders did not let this year’s IDG pass by without passionately advocating for gender justice. We’ve rounded up a few inspiring activations from Girl Up changemakers & Clubs across the globe.

#GirlHero Awards

Girl Up hosted the 5th annual #GirlHero Awards to honor youth and adult changemakers and advocates who are working to advance girls’ and women’s rights. The one-hour event centered around Girl Up Leaders, because girls are the heroes we need and deserve. Our favorite moments of the awards included:

  • #GirlHero Honorees Thuso Mbedu and Promise revealing how they use storytelling to ignite social change
  • Executive Director Melissa Kilby announcing our goal to engage 1 million Girl Up Leaders by 2030
  • Girl Up Leader Ilinca talking with honoree Meena Harris about the intersections of environmentalism and gender equality – from climate strikes, to the classroom, to the State House!

You can watch even more highlights on our YouTube channel!

Day of the Girl Summit 2022

The United Nations headquarters in NYC hosted the Day of the Girl Summit in recognition of the existing and growing gaps in the fulfillment of girls’ rights, including setbacks in girls’ access to education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit included the Girls Speak Out hybrid town hall, which featured youth activists and advocates. The town hall was designed to deliver unscripted and authentic dialogue between policymakers, allies, and young leaders working for the fulfillment of girls’ rights.

I am proud to be part of a new generation of leaders who will focus on making the world a better place.

Lulu, Girl Up leader

“Attending the event connected me with many other Girl Up Leaders whom I was very honored to meet,” said Girl Up Leader Lulu. “Throughout the event, I heard from a variety of speakers from many different demographics. It was inspiring to hear so many important leaders focus on issues that girls face around the world. I am proud to be part of a new generation of leaders who will focus on making the world a better place.”

#SuperMeninas2022
Girl Up Brazil hosted its annual “#SuperMeninas” event. This year, panels focused on activism, leadership, climate justice, racial equity, technology, and menstrual dignity. Youth had the honor of hearing Brazilian politician Marina Silva address environmental policies at the event.

#SuperMeninas with Girl Up Brazil

WWE’s Monday Night RAW

Monday Night Raw, a professional wrestling television program hosted by long-time partner WWE, invited Girl Up Leader Lauren to participate in the evening event. “I’m extremely grateful to have been named a WWE and Girl Up Sports Fellowship recipient, and for the opportunity to talk about the importance of women’s participation in sports on such a publicized platform at the WWE Monday Night RAW,” she said. Lauren also highlighted the importance of sports at the event in front of hundreds of wrestling fans: “participating in sports relieves stress, builds confidence, prevents health issues, and improves mental wellness.”

Girl Icon Leadership Summit 2022

Girl Up India partnered with the Milaan Foundation to organize the Girl Icon Leadership Summit 2022. The discussion on “Adolescent Girls and the Future of Work” resolved to strengthen girls leadership and create transformative leaders to forge a path for development. 

President of Girl Up Delhi Coalition Piya, who joined the panel Dreams, Degrees, and Decisions, mentioned that “the Summit also created space for the young females it intended to represent.” 

“Our panel focused on understanding aspirations and goals of young girls, while having varied personal experiences,” continued Piya. “It is crucial for adolescent girls and young women to overcome gender biases and create new opportunities for themselves in order to dream big and make independent life choices.”

“Being one of the younger people in a hall accompanied by CEOs and Founders doing such great work made me slightly intimidated,” said Girl Up Leader Anushka. “However, hearing them talk with so much fervor about empowering women, especially women from marginalized spaces, eased out any apprehension I may have had otherwise. As someone who vehemently advocates against the profoundly ingrained patriarchy in society, I felt safe to speak about my experience without hesitation, even in a room full of strangers.”

MAKERS Conference

The MAKERS Conference is a global leadership event that brings the most powerful learners and influencers to accelerate equity for women in the workplace and beyond. Girl Up LA Coalition Leader Tanya spoke on the closing panel with activist and advisory board member Liz Plank and other Girl Up Leaders. “The group at MAKERS had this close sense of trust and unity that I have never experienced before, and I hope every young woman, like me, has the chance to be a part of the MAKERS Magic,” says Tanya.

Girl Up Africa

Under the theme “Our time is now—our rights, our future”, Girl Up Africa celebrated International Day of the Girl with in-person events & online videos featuring members from Girl Up Namibia, Girl Up Evolve in Nigeria, and more. The events and videos recognized all those who work hard to ensure that every girl has a safe place in the world.

Girl Up Africa celebrating International Day of the Girl

Give to Women and Girls Day


The Women’s Philanthropy Institute hosted Give to Women and Girls Day, a national awareness campaign to increase funding for women’s and girls’ organizations. Girl Up Leader Isabel was invited to read one of her poems and revealed that “one of the amazing panelists, Nicole Robinson, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, even quoted my poem during her response to a panel question.”

Watch the recording of the event here.

UK Conference – State Girls’ Schools

This one-day conference, focusing on the challenges & opportunities facing school leaders, offered girls the unique opportunity to learn from, and collaborate with, students from various state schools in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The passion and drive for change was evident from the leaders in the room.

Bethel, Girl Up Leader

Hosted by the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools, “the event was motivating, inspirational, and just the beginning of the impact girls across Europe are about to make,” said Girl Up Leader Bethel. “We were able to share the work of Girl Up–there was momentum. The passion and drive for change was evident from the leaders in the room who wanted to contribute and share these opportunities with young people and start Girl Up Clubs in their communities.”

Girl Up Leaders Bethel & Mofi at the UK Conference

Girl Up Coalitions

Girl Up Karnataka Coalition (India) hosted Instagram Lives on the theme of “Stepping out of one’s social boundaries to express oneself” with fashion designers Gopika Unnikrishnan and Reishna Mukherjeeand and graphic designer Natasha Pereira as part of the In Conversation with Creative Individuals series. 

Aguascalientes Coalition (Mexico) celebrated Girl Up Leader Esmeralda, who won a 2022 #GirlHero Award. Watch her speech here.

Girl Up Clubs

Girl Up Zubaan (India) conducted a workshop at a local middle school on equity and sustainability, encouraging students to understand the intersectionality of climate and gender justice.

Girl Up Activistas (Mexico) created the “My younger self would be proud of me because…” campaign.

Girl Up Tec Monterrey (Mexico) organized a three-day in-person summit “Mujer(es)” with leading international panelists from different backgrounds.

Nuwa Senchi Girl Up (Peru) created their own “Girlafesto” that addressed government officials, society, and businesses.

Girl Up Femiciencia (Guatemala) made a series of posts as part of the #GirlHero campaign and shared recommendations on how to improve the well-being of girls. 

An art activity at Girl Up Tec Monterrey’s Summit

While International Day of the Girl 2022 might be over, Girl Up Club members are activating for equality every day of the year. CLICK HERE to start your own Club and join the movement!

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