Why Meaningful Youth Engagement and Co-Leadership?
Young people are already changing the world, bringing their unique perspectives, expertise, and lived experiences to drive impact in their communities, countries, and around the world. As stakeholders in the future of our planet, they deserve to be in the “driver’s seat” on policies and programs that impact them, their communities, and the planet.
Nothing about youth without youth
And youth deliver – when youth are the decision-makers and are provided the necessary resources and support to lead in global advocacy spaces, the world is more likely to realize gender equality, eliminate poverty, and achieve climate justice.
That is why Women Deliver is providing young advocates with direct access to global decision-makers and policy forums and equipping them with the resources, technical assistance, and funding to transform their visions for a more gender equal world into reality.
“Adolescents and young people are the direct line to hugely diverse realities…[we’re] experiencing a ‘never-before opportunity’ to maximize the potential of young people as central actors in addressing their sexual and reproductive health needs.” -Young People Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health:
Toward a New Normal (YIELD)
“Meaningful adolescent and youth engagement is an inclusive, intentional, mutually-respectful partnership.” -Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent and Youth Engagement
“Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies." -Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
“All over the world, youth are leading transformative social change. Youth are not only more than half of the world’s population — we are unlocking progress against some of the world’s most entrenched problems and inequities.” -Young Feminist Manifesto
FOR YOUTH, BY YOUTH
Young people’s choices and opportunities define both the present and future of our world. Any efforts to achieve gender equity and eliminate poverty, including the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, relies on their meaningful engagement and youth leadership. As critical stakeholders in the future of our planet, young people have a right to design and lead on policies and programs that impact them and their community. Yet, all too often, youth — especially those holding other marginalized identities — are not in positions of power and do not have opportunities to influence and dialogue with decision-makers who hold those positions. Now, a growing movement is opting to change this by calling for meaningful youth engagement and diverse, intergenerational leadership.
Since the very first Women Deliver Conference in London in 2007, Women Deliver supported young people’s participation in the global conversation. Recognizing the importance of having young people in the room and ensuring their voices are heard, in 2010, we launched the award-winning Young Leaders Program.