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Girls breaking barriers House of Lords debate

Girls Breaking Barriers: House of Lords debate

This November, 200 girls are coming to the House of Lords for a special debate on girls’ rights.

How can we ensure that girls are able to achieve their potential in the UK and around the world?

That’s the question 200 girls will be debating at the House of Lords on Friday 16 November, as part of our Girls Breaking Barriers event.

We’re supporting girls from 10 schools across the UK and four girls from Ghana and Rwanda to debate girls’ rights for the first time in the House of Lords.

They’ll be joined by members of STAND with Girls, our two-year programme to empower vulnerable and disadvantaged girls across the UK, and from our Youth Advisory Panel, who share a passion for campaigning for child and youth rights.

In a debate chaired by two Deputy Speakers, Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall and Baroness Pitkeathley, they’ll discuss four specific barriers that girls face globally, and their potential solutions:

  1. The stereotypes girls face at school and the assumptions that are made about their capabilities and potential.
  2. The fact girls don’t see themselves reflected in public and political life and how positions of power tend to be held by men.
  3. The issue of street harassment, which girls are facing on a daily basis.
  4. The fact girls don’t have enough information about their bodies, healthy relationships and their sexual health. 

Before the debate, the girls will hold Q&A conversations with a panel of inspiring and influential women, who will share information on their careers and life experiences – including Katie Chapman, Chelsea Ambassador, and BBC radio presenter Emma Barnett.

Plan International UK's Youth Advisory Panel at the Youth Action Festival
Plan International UK's Youth Advisory Panel at the Youth Action Festival

Why breaking barriers matters

We know that when more girls’ voices are included in decision-making, communities and nations thrive and become stronger.

But today, girls remain one of the most discriminated against groups in the world. Whether they dream of being a chief executive, a firefighter or a business owner, they start to experience barriers to success at a young age – and they must be supported so their rights are no longer ignored.

The big decisions that impact girls’ lives sit with political leaders. Yet women are underrepresented in political life at all levels.

For girls’ voices to be heard and for girls’ rights to be at the forefront, we need girls to enter politics.

By debating in the House of Lords, we’re creating a platform for girls to try out new skills, have their say and build their confidence, so they can see themselves as the political leaders of the future.

Follow the debate

You can show your support for the girls by watching the debate live on Parliament TV or Facebook Live on Friday 16 November, and follow the hashtag #GirlsBreakingBarriers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Stand with girls everywhere as they campaign for equal rights