IEU Experience


The UN Foundation’s non-profit organization Girl Up is an incredible initiative that helps UN agencies provide adolescent girls with wide-ranging support. Now, a group of IE University change-makers—who are passionate about creating a more equal future for young women—have decided to step up and join the cause.

Avantika Pal, Wadad Fady Assaf, Ane Casajús, Isabella Ochoa, and Marta Ortiz have founded an official IE University chapter of the Girl Up Club. We sat down with them to talk about their new club, which operates under the umbrella of the worldwide organization.

What is IEU Girl Up Club’s mission?

As one of 3,500 other Girl Up clubs, we are committed to the organization’s global movement to promote gender equality by creating an impact at a local, national and international level. Our action-oriented club’s mission is to put IE University at the forefront of positive change and inspire the next generation to fight for what they believe in.

Girl Up has five areas of focus, two of which are programs they designed: gender equality, gender-based violence, education, STEM for Social Good, and Sports for a Purpose. Our meetings are based on how to combat these issues and generate change.

Do you team up with other groups? What types of activities do you do?

Since starting the club in September 2020, we have hosted a variety of activities and events that revolve around the five focus areas. We’ve collaborated with other IE University clubs like Athletics, Campus Life, Eco, Rotaract, SAS, and Women in Business clubs to co-host events that focus on a common goal. We’ve also worked alongside STEM Talent Girl, an NGO based in Segovia, and another Girl Up club located in Colombia.

Girl Up encourages its clubs to complete different challenges like hosting fundraisers or advocacy events. Currently, we are co-organizing our first fundraiser challenge, Run for Her—a virtual 5K run in collaboration with the IEU Long Distance Track Team and IE University Athletics. Proceeds from the event will go to Girl Up’s Sports for a Purpose program. This program encourages females around the world to participate in all sports and helps provide them access to sports equipment.

Why should students join IEU Girl Up?

IEU Girl Up is an entirely student-led club that gives our members the opportunity to create meaningful change in the world. As future change-makers, this club offers our members the chance to be part of a global movement that strives for a world of equal opportunity. With our experiences as part of the club, we can help pave the way for our next generation to continue the fight. We also encourage our members to register on the Girl Up website to be part of the worldwide community, opening a range of possibilities for contribution and ways to make a lasting difference.

Recommendations to other students?

Joining IEU Girl Up is as simple as reaching out, there are no prerequisites or qualifications. We value determination and a “never quit” mentality. This is especially true as we are committed to working toward UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, which focuses on gender equality and female empowerment. We are also always open to ideas and suggestions for potential events or activities that can help the IE Community get more involved.  

The IEU Girl Up Club is the most recent example of the incredible work our community has done in empowering women. Initiatives like these are invaluable tools that make us stronger, both as an educational institution and as a society. We can’t wait to see what the IEU Girl Up club does next!