Asia-Pacific Youths Eager to Help Tackle Society’s Most Pressing Problems

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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Whether it’s climate change, inequality, the coronavirus pandemic or the myriad other challenges we face today, young people across the Asia-Pacific region stand ready to go out and try to find solutions.

This was clear in the passionate voices heard in the  group discussions that the Generation Equality campaign organized on July 13-15.

“Adolescents and youth are ready to lead and ready to take the challenge to make change in the world,” said Chamathya Fernando, Generation Equality Youth Task Force member and coordinator. “Young people want to be co-creators, co-leaders and co-owners and be equal partners in setting the agenda.

 Youth Activism Accelerator: Day 1, 13th July 2021
Youth Activism Accelerator: Day 1, 13th July 2021. Photo: UN Women/Second Chance Education Programme

The online sessions brought together 1,715 people from the region, including youth activists and members of social movements and organizations working for gender equality and women's empowerment.

The participants had in-depth discussions on how to take action on the complex problems of:

  • Gender-based violence
  • Economic justice and rights
  • Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Feminist action for climate justice
  • Technology and innovation for gender equality
  • Feminist movements and leadership

They also discussed ways to advance the Generation Equality Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action.

The depth of the discussions showed the strong appetite among today’s young people to lead efforts to resolve complex problems linked to gender inequalities and the role of women and girls and other marginalized groups in society. Participants unpacked such concepts as ‘feminist leadership’ and ‘feminist activism’ and discussed how putting these principles into practice can bring about greater diversity and justice and equality for all.

The participants also talked about how to secure funding and resources for efforts to meet the needs and concerns of marginalized youths, especially girls, those with disabilities, and LGBTIQ individuals.

They shared examples of how youth activists are making a difference, with support from governments, civil society groups, the private sector, trade unions, artists, academia and social influencers. They spoke of how young Pacific Islanders are calling for climate justice and pushing corporations to tackle climate change. Participants also heard about how young activists in South Asia are mobilizing communities to intervene

when they witness gender-based violence, as well as how young women and men in conflict areas are participating in activities to achieve peace.

The discussions made clear that young people are driving action both online and offline.

Let’s keep the discussions going so that their unique perspectives, new ideas and initiatives will continue to bring about change.

We look forward to having you join us in future discussions!

India - Second Chance Education and Vocational Learning (SCE) Programme. Photo: UN Women
Photo: UN Women/Second Chance Education Programme

For more information, contact:

Lauren Da Silva
E: lauren.dasilva@unwomen.org