11 October marked International Day of the Girl, a United Nations initiative designed to agitate change to improve the gender equality and safety of girls.

But with a lot of girls feeling the impact of the global pandemic, UN Women needed a creative way to engage and empower Australian girls this year.


Australian girls are surrounded by complex conversations about gender equality. And while they may not be old enough to march, to tweet, or to petition the government, they are on TikTok recreating dances to lift their mood and band together.

We decided to create a TikTok dance – one that girls around Australia could recreate like other viral dance trends.

But what appears to be another TikTok dance, is in fact a carefully choreographed sequence of basic self-defense moves, creating a movement through which girls can show their strength and demand a future that is safe, equal and empowered.

The #EmpowerMoves dance brings together music of Australian singer-songwriter Wafia, the contagious movement of choreographer and entrepreneur Karla Mura, with the direction of She Fights Back.

On Monday 11 October, International Day of the Girl 2021, we revealed to media the meaning behind the #EmpowerMoves dance, which had been gradually becoming more and more viral.


Across 7 days, the #EmpowerMoves hashtag was viewed more than 70 million times on TikTok. We secured more than 40 pieces of coverage, a cumulative reach of 3,318,796, and extremely strong sentiment and message retention.

 The story ran as a news headline all morning on ABC News Breakfast – meaning that it was run every half an hour, including an interview with the CEO of UN Women which was played twice. All up, there was more than 15 mins of dedicated coverage on ABC.