A girl is sitting at the desk
In Guatemala, Girl Up initiative challenged longstanding cultural norms to empower indigenous adolescent girls. ©Saul Martinez

Girl Up

“When girls rise, we all rise.” ”
UN Foundation

Girls have the right to stand up and speak up – their voices deserve to be heard and considered at all levels. 

Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, supports the empowerment of girls everywhere.  

Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has funded UN programmes that promote the health, safety, education and leadership of girls in developing countries and built a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates. 

Through Action for Adolescent Girls, the project supports Governments in making the targeted investment to empower thousands of adolescent girls, specifically to delay the girl’s age at first marriage and first childbearing. 

In Guatemala, Girls Up aimed at empowering indigenous adolescent girls and preventing domestic violence in rural towns and villages. The initiative challenged longstanding cultural norms to give girls and women a voice through Safe Spaces programme, advocacy at the national policy level and access to sex education.  

In India, the project helped to prevent early marriages and unintended pregnancies through classroom activities, the training of peer mentors and high-level advocacy work that motivated and engaged the community to support the girls' rights.