Human Rights

International Women's Day: Ideas to empower girls

You may know that we are far from achieving gender equality. But maybe you don’t know that the situation of adolescent girls around the world is urgent. In different contexts, they are facing challenges to access their most basic rights, like education, information, or health. In many places they lack opportunities to thrive, and their voices are not being heard enough.  

UNICEF is taking action by promoting an adolescent girls’ strategy that focuses on health, learning, empowerment, nutrition and skills, and ensuring they are protected against all types of violence. And you can also take action to promote gender equality.  

This International Women’s Day, we asked young people to share with us what they do to feel empowered, and we received responses from all over the world. We selected 48 ideas in which we can all embrace to empower girls.  


Share your ideas with us! Tweet, post or do a story tagging @voicesofyouth on Twitter and Instagram.  

48 ideas to empower girls

1. “To feel empowered I remind myself that I’m very capable and that I achieve everything I set out to do.” Kirsy, 14, Dominican Republic 

2. “As a non-binary youth, I believe that defining our worth in a world that is constantly repressing women and non-men can be a difficult task, constantly navigating a society that perpetuates gender-based stereotypes and biases. To combat these negative feelings, I find that engaging in discussions with other inspiring individuals and brainstorming ideas to create outreach projects is an excellent way to feel empowered. By working together with like-minded individuals, I am reminded that I am not alone in my experiences and that my voice has value and impact.” Madeline, 19, Malaysia 

3. “Empowering myself is seeing me for who I am, and not as others think I am.” Valery, 15, Bolivia 

4. “I remind myself of the sacrifices made by my mother and of all the women who were here before me, the challenges they overcame to bring me closer to an equal world and give me the freedom I have today.” Musharrafah, 22, India 

5. “I defend my rights.” Laura, 18, El Salvador 

6. “I take a look at the wonderful things I and other girls around the world are currently achieving. Then, the ability we have to make sustainable changes in the world automatically motivates me to work even harder.” Sandra, 20, Zambia 

7. “I make sure to always check out the news in order to keep myself up to date about the progress of women both in my country and the world.” Eiliyah, 14, Bangladesh 

8. “I remind myself of the opportunities I have access to and promise myself I will make the most of these opportunities while working towards creating opportunities for others.” Anushka, 23, Hong Kong 

9. “Getting support and having others believe in me makes me feel I have the power to do anything without any hesitation.” Riro, 21, Indonesia 

10. “To feel empowered, I leave my comfort zone by taking on new challenges, thereby conquering my fears and acquiring new skills.” Uforo, 20, Nigeria 

11. “Practice saying no. No isn't a bad word, it can be very empowering when used in the right circumstance." Dyla, 17, Indonesia 

12. “I keep a “little empowerment box” that includes every difficult moment I overcame successfully. It inspires and motivates me to keep going even when it seems impossible. Karen, 15, United States 

13. “Financially supporting myself and my community makes me feel empowered.” Manasi, 23, India 

14. “My sense of empowerment increases when I connect with women in my community and from abroad and exchange ideas and experiences.” Maite, 14, Chile and Canada 

15. “To feel empowered, I always focus on my strengths and resources and practice positive self-talk.” Jennifer, 22, Cameroon 

16. “When I can see the impact a group I'm in has, I feel empowered. It makes me feel like I have an impact on the world.” Amelia, 18, Ireland 

18. “To feel empowered I watch and listen to great young leaders who are making a difference in their communities. This has pushed me to do more in my own community.” Betty, 19, Nigeria 

19. “To empower myself, I remember that I’m the voice of many women whose voices have been robbed, and that I have the privilege and the duty of fighting for my and my sisters’ rights.” Paula, 18, Costa Rica 

20. “I pray. As a result, I feel empowered, strong, and brave.” Trisha, 22, Dominica 

21. “I feel empowered by empowering others. I commit to teaching someone a new skill every month.” Zoe, 23, Zambia 

22. “Always keep something with you that reminds you of your role model. When times get tough and when self-doubt clouds your mind, it can do wonders." Siya, 22, India 

23. “I embrace sisterhood and I see the women around me as supporters and not as competitors. Being honest, being vulnerable and supportive to each other is the most effective and real way to feel empowered as a woman.” Katerina, 24, Estonia 

24. “I don’t allow fear to stop me from doing anything.” Yamileth, 17, Peru 

25. “I feel empowered when I can stand for myself and speak against discrimination and encourage other to speak for themselves.” Prachi, 18, India 

26. “For me power is intelligence and self-love. So to feel empowered I read and study to increase my knowledge and try as hard as I can to love every part of myself.” Gomana, 17, Egypt 

27. “As a young inventor, I feel most empowered when I can use technology to create solutions for communities closest to my heart.” Neha, 18, United States 

28. “I feel empowered when I get the courage to speak up about something that bothers me.” Vanessa, 18, Romania 

29. “Every single time I hear that I can't do something because I'm a female, I take up the challenge of doing that thing!” Mukisa, 20, Uganda 

30. “I feel the most empowered when I am myself.” Isabella, 17, Venezuela 

31. “I feel empowered by my mom. She always motivates me to transform my insecurities and doubts into my strength.” Maryada, 23, Nepal 

32. “When it gets hard and I'm about to give up, I project myself into the future and I ask myself: in 5 years, where would I like to be?” Nancy, 22, Democratic Republic of Congo 

33. “To feel empowered, I see all failures as gifts.” Nazwa, 16, Indonesia 

34. “I study. The more I read and learn, the more capable I feel to forge my own path through life.” Nele, 17, Germany 

35. “I can feel empowered when I’m dancing alone in my room or singing that song that I like so much.” Ana, 18, Costa Rica 

36. “I placed my debut book in the front row of my room's bookcase. It serves as a daily reminder to make me feel empowered.” Jannat, 23, Pakistan 

37.“When I see empowered girls working in science labs and solving complex mathematical equations on social media, I feel empowered.” Xin Qi, 16, Malaysia 

38. “I believe that in our vulnerabilities lies our strength. So, each day, I reflect on my vulnerabilities and try to turn it into my greatest weapon for empowering myself.” Purmina, 16, Nepal 

39. “I feel empowered by helping people who are in need.” Sarah, 21, Iraq 

40. “My tip for self-empowerment is practicing solitude. Solitude is a state of seclusion in order to focus on one’s thoughts, feelings and personal development.” Eduek, 19, Nigeria 

41. “Being open-minded and learning new things makes me feel empowered.” Srey, 22, Cambodia 

42. “I look for female role models who have had an irreplaceable impact on subjects that are of great importance to me.” Ani, 19, Germany 

43. “I feel empowered when I hold my pen. When I weave my words into finely carved lines, I become a voice in society.” Adyasha, 19, India. 

44. “I don’t allow anyone to mess with me, even less for being a woman.” Kheira, 15, Spain 

45. “I know my worth. I try to love myself and one thing I always remember is, "if they can do it, then so can I".” Raysha, 15, Indonesia 

46. “I feel empowered when I hear other women's stories.” Rahma, 17, Egypt 

47. “To feel empowered it is important to speak up and advocate for gender equality and girls' rights. By raising awareness and challenging harmful societal norms, we can create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.” Mahabalage, 17, United Arab Emirates 

48. “When I can think freely and express freely, when I can fly towards my dreams without any chains, when my talents are not limited by gender, that's exactly when I feel empowered.” Fatima, 19, Afghanistan


Thanks to everyone who submitted an idea! We invite you to continue the conversation online. Tweet, post or do a story tagging @voicesofyouth on Twitter and Instagram.

In their own words

portrait of Anna Buynova

“I realized that my strength is that I keep moving and implementing ideas, in spite of everything. My strength is in helping others.”

Anna, 23, Ukraine. Read her blog post.

“I have learnt to think of myself not merely as a girl or a person with disabilities, but as a human being. Equality and empowerment come from the realization that we are all different, but at the end of the day we are all human, and that is what counts.”

Taieba, 18, Bangladesh. Read her blog post. 


a picture of a sunset
when i feel empowered
When i feel empowered

“I feel empowered because I am fully supported by my family. Since I was young, my parents have instilled feminist values in me.”

Siyfa, 19, Indonesia. Read her blog post.

And some more ideas

 When I Felt Empowered! – Priyanka, 17, India  

Reflecting on past achievements – Abeer, 21, India 

Sentirnos empoderadas cuando reconocemos nuestro propio brillo – Isabella, 17, Venezuela 

Empowering = Dreaming - Seoin, 18, Republic of Korea