Girl Up is a Youth-Centered leadership development initiative working to achieve gender equity worldwide.
We commit to supporting our young leaders in their Passionate Action for social change and seek feedback from our Global Community to ensure Accountability in maintaining our values.
- Youth voices deserve to be heard and considered at the highest levels of decision-making. Our movement is open to all young people, and our network of Clubs is primarily composed of girl leaders, aged 13-22, who drive our programming and shape our strategy. We elevate the ideas and perspectives of our members and prioritize the safety and security of all youth who engage with Girl Up programs. Young leaders are the heart of our movement working to advance gender equity, close the gender gap in leadership worldwide, and mobilize their communities to create social change and accelerate opportunities for girls globally.
- Youth have the power to drive change. Our leadership programs are designed to help members channel their passion into action to create more just communities. The core of Girl Up programming intentionally focuses on equity for girls and women who face systemic discrimination and bias in both public and private spheres worldwide. Girl Up supports the effort of our members fighting for justice on social issues that intersect with gender equity including systemic racism, indigenous rights, poverty, gender-based violence, access to education and healthcare, climate change, civic participation, representation in the media, leadership opportunities for girls and women, and discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and more. We encourage our members to advocate at the local, national, and international levels, in line with advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
- We embrace the unique experiences and cultural perspectives that each member brings to our work. Respect, tolerance, and understanding of others’ backgrounds and beliefs must be exemplified at all times. We foster a supportive global community of young leaders, partners, and supporters who lift each other up and learn from one another. Within our events, programming, and online community we strive to create an inclusive environment that values and celebrates each member across their identities — including but not limited to their race, ethnicity, religion, culture, country of origin, political beliefs, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, gender identity, sexuality or ability.
- In our decision-making process, we offer opportunities for those in our movement to provide input through surveys and steering committees, and welcome feedback on an ongoing basis. We seek to center youth voices and consider their perspectives at every level. We are committed to the process of creating equity and inclusion within our organization and to fostering an environment that celebrates the unique and diverse identities of our community, and we invite our members to hold us accountable to that goal.
- Gender equality implies that the interests, needs, and priorities of individuals are taken into consideration regardless of gender expression, recognizing the diversity of different groups and that all human beings are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by societal stereotypes and prejudices about gender roles and identity. Gender equality is a human right. (adapted UN definition)
- Gender equity is the concept of fairness, recognizing that not all individuals start from the same place as far as access and opportunities. Gender equity may involve the use of temporary special measures to compensate for historical or systemic bias or discrimination against individuals or groups. It refers to differential treatment that is fair and positively addresses a bias or disadvantage that is due to gender roles or norms or differences across certain groups. (adapted UN definition)
- The act of serving, supporting and influencing, guides and maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a common goal. The art of modeling values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors creates a culture where others are inspired to do the same, as a result of one’s example. Leadership is a journey, not a destination or a title. At Girl Up, our unique programming framework helps young changemakers become and identify themselves as leaders — of self, of peers, and of global change.
- Intersectionality — a feminist sociological theory first coined by American civil rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 — refers to overlapping social identities and the related systems of oppression, domination and/or discrimination. Intersectionality recognizes that identity markers (e.g. “woman” and “Black”) do not exist independently of each other, and that each informs the others, often creating a complex convergence of oppression. Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. Examples of these aspects include gender, caste, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, disability, and physical appearance.