Towards a gender-equal world: a mission for all
Oped by Josep Borrell and Jutta Urpilainen
In early 2020, Awa had just turned 15 years old when she heard that her marriage was being arranged. Escaping it seemed difficult, but Awa found the courage to defy her father’s decision. Her small village in Mali had a committee for the prevention of early marriage, and she took her case to them. This body of respected people presented Awa’s father with all the arguments against early marriage, and managed to convince him. It is to help the cause of young girls like Awa that the European Union supports this committee and many other projects in this area around the world.
No country in the world is on track to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, despite significant progress in advancing women’s and girls’ rights over the years. Moreover, the health and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis are disproportionately affecting women and girls. To address this, the EU put forward an ambitious Gender Action Plan to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through all external action of the European Union.