Why Meaningful Youth Engagement?
Today’s world is too often divided –
between the “haves” and “have-nots”
the “global north” and “global south”
“developed” and “developing”
“donors” and “beneficiaries”
What if people in positions of power could co-create with
young people the policies, programs, and tools that best
fit their community’s wants and needs?
“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 feminists hold the key to global sustainable development – if only we would step aside so they could unlock the door.” -Lori Adelman, Director of Youth Engagement, Women Deliver
FIGHTING FOR YOUTH ISSUES, ALONGSIDE YOUNG PEOPLE
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 in the policies and programs that impact their lives and communities. Yet, all too often, youth are not in positions of direct authority or influence on their own lives, nor are they supported to meaningfully engage with decision-makers and influencers who are. Now, a growing movement is opting to change this by calling for radical inclusion and meaningful youth engagement.
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.
We know that lasting change takes time, and we can’t go at it alone. The Women Deliver Youth Engagement Working Group is comprised of diverse youth-serving and youth-led organizations who collaborate and coordinate on efforts to advance meaningful youth engagement in gender equality, and the health and rights of girls, women, and young people.