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DSW Tanzania’s Youth Advocate Champions Girls’ Rights at the European Union

Blog | 30. October 2023 | #Advocacy #youth empowerment

The European Week of Action for Girls (EWAG) brought together passionate young advocates from Africa, Europe, and Asia to engage with decision-makers and champion the rights of girls and young women. Among these advocates was Ms. Shamsa Khalfan from DSW Tanzania, who participated in a series of impactful events, including the Pre-Youth Side Program and the World Health Summit.

EWAG is a week-long series of events and activities organized around the International Day of the Girl Child by a coalition of Civil Society Organizations. The goal of the EWAG coalition is to ensure girls’ voices and aspirations are heard by the EU institutions and that girls’ rights are at the core of the EU’s external action.

During EWAG, key issues focused on five critical pillars:

The participants engaged in a film screening titled ‘Raise the Bar,’ followed by engaging debates and a reception. The film focused on promoting gender equality within the community, emphasizing the empowerment of girls by providing them with opportunities to showcase their talents through sports. The narrative portrayed a stark reality where girls’ rights were often undermined, highlighting the limited opportunities for girls to compete for equal treatment.

Exchange meeting between EU member states and EWAG Young advocate and Bilateral meetings with Members of the European Parliament

EWAG participants had a successful meeting with the Member of the European Parliament and member states and discussed five pillars of the EWAG. to assess EU policies and actions in terms of their contribution to promoting girls’ rights.

European Parliament

EWAG participants had the chance to exchange with the Members of the European Parliament. Ms. Shamsa addressed the challenges that girls face in developing countries in the area of reproductive health, and presented her asks at the European Commitment to stress the issue of providing funds to developing countries, Engaging youth and local Civil Society Organizations during policy formulation, Advancement of SRH that will have the comprehensive part of reproductive health awareness, maternal health care, Privacy and respect of youth informed decisions.

European Parliament

EWAG participants had the chance to exchange with the Members of the European Parliament. Ms. Shamsa addressed the challenges that girls face in developing countries in the area of reproductive health, and presented her asks at the European Commitment to stress the issue of providing funds to developing countries, Engaging youth and local Civil Society Organizations during policy formulation, Advancement of SRH that will have the comprehensive part of reproductive health awareness, maternal health care, Privacy and respect of youth informed decisions.

Education for Girls

Ms. Shamsa had an opportunity to be invited to an informal event organised under the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, focused on the importance of improving educational attainment for girls. She highlighted that investing in girls’ education is crucial because it addresses numerous challenges they face, including teenage pregnancies, HIV, STIs, and gender-based violence. She emphasized that education enables girls to utilize family planning and achieve sustainable lives. Ms. Shamsa urged for continued investment from multiple sectors, development partners, and the European Union in youth education, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and job creation.

Young advocates played a crucial role in amplifying the voices and aspirations of girls. They cultivated an advocacy mindset, committed to returning and consistently raising their voices to ensure that the rights and priorities of girls and youth are acknowledged and positioned at the forefront in their communities.

Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)

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