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Now is the time to address the interlinking challenges of gender inequality, poverty reduction, social inclusion, health care, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Youth have been, and will continue to be a part of the conversations and action to restore the planet and integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems, and therefore will also remain closely engaged in the implementation work of the Action Coalitions that were launched during the Generation Equality Forum. On International Youth Day, join us in uplifting the voices of youth and celebrating their leadership.
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The first cohort of young thought leaders have been recruited through UN Women’s flagship 30 for 2030 Network. The talented group of 32 gender-equality leaders aged 14-35 were recruited from 15 countries across Asia and the Pacific, and will engage with the regional and country offices to provide expertise on youth and gender issues and will be supported by UN Women to co-design new campaigns and initiatives.
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Young people are disproportionately impacted by interlinked global crises, from climate change to conflicts to persistent poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these fragilities. In 2020 alone, youth employment fell by 39 million. Today, 24 million young people remain at risk of not returning to school.
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The youth of our countries are a dynamic population playing a vital role in the nation’s growth and development. World Youth Skills Day, celebrated every year on 15 July, focuses on the strategic importance of equipping the young population with skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and work. The day focuses on the important role played by skilled youth in addressing current and future global challenges.
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UN Women, in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Development Studies and CED Link, supported the efforts of 71 youth leaders, content creators and change-makers across Viet Nam to develop innovative social media projects aimed at strengthening positive digital engagement and at combating cyberharms. Within three months, the projects achieved incredible results, receiving a collective 4.9 million views, 19,100 comments and 4,382 shares across all major social media platforms commonly used in Viet Nam.
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Young women are agents of change in promoting peace and social cohesion, said speakers at the National Colloquium on Learnings from the Women Peace Café initiative in Bangladesh. The event, organized by UN Women and the Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) of Brac University
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UN Women spoke with two of the winners, Thai female university students Raweekarn Amarachgul and Asmanee Chesuemae. Raweekarn spent the day with Sarah Knibbs, officer-in-charge of UN Women Asia and Pacific, and Asmanee with Maria Holtsberg, the office’s humanitarian and disaster risk reduction advisor. The students talked about the climate crisis and gender inequality, and the importance of technology and education in possible solutions.
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In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the Indonesian Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, joined heads of international organizations, members of the business sector, and the Indonesian Stock Exchange rang the Bell for Gender Equality. Ring the Bell for Gender Equality is a ceremony that aims to raise awareness of the key role private sectors play in accelerating progress for gender equality.
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The climate and resource crises, as well as global inequality, have not disappeared during COVID-19. If anything, the pandemic has underscored the critical need to address gender inequality if we want to successfully combat the global pandemic and the climate crisis. It has also demonstrated the leadership roles that women and girls are playing in health and disaster response, especially at the local level.
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Devishi Jha, is an 18-year-old climate activist who was born in India and now lives in the United States. She is the Director of Partnerships at Zero Hour, an international youth-led climate justice organization, and serves on the National Council at UNICEF USA.
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Nidhi Mayurika is a 17-year-old student from Bangalore, India, who is a three-time winner of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest. Nidhi is a space enthusiast and wants to create awareness about climate action using a scientific approach.
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Jesmin Aktar lives in a village of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She regularly attends UN Women's "Shanti Khana" [Multi-Purpose Women's Centre – MPWC] learning sessions and is dedicated to improving her life by pursuing a challenging job and contributing to society.
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At a high-level event on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly on 24 September, UN Women and India’s National Alliance of Women's Organisations (NAWO) committed to activate a youth-led feminist agenda that strengthens youth engagement in shaping public policy and in intergovernmental processes at the United Nations and beyond. The event built upon the momentum of the Generation Equality Forum in July 2021, which placed youth and feminist movement-building at the heart of the...
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Rajeshwari Diaz, 46, and Kaweeda Manohari, 48, are among the many women who have seen these benefits as they attend trainings and community dialogues organized by a project called Promoting Women’s Engagement in Effective Solid Waste Management. UN Women is running the project jointly with United Nations Office for Project Services and Chrysalis, a local non-governmental organization. The 2020-2021 project is expected to directly benefit about 4,000 people in Puttalam and Mannar, fishing and agricultural districts along Sri Lanka’s western coast.
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“Through this project, we are working with women to ensure their voices are heard and that they are fully involved in making decisions that impact them, their households and communities,” said Ramaaya Salgado, Country Focal Point at UN Women Sri Lanka. “Solid waste management was iden-tified as the main community issue that this project addresses, but we are building their capacities so that this whole-of-community approach can be replicated in addressing other conflicts and community issues as well.”
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When I saw this happening, I did not want to be a silent spectator. I wanted to make a difference in my community. This is when I joined the village dengue prevention committee. We worked hard to raise awareness among the public and helped remove mosquito breeding sites. I am proud to say that our hard work paid off and we managed to eradicate dengue in the area.
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Winifrida Elizabeth Nawaratne is a human rights activist and an active member of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. She became engaged in social work following a course on human rights at the University of Colombo, which she took after retiring from her job as a typist. She was a participant in UN Women’s multistakeholder dialogues titled “Promoting Women’s Engagement in Effective Solid Waste Management in Sri Lanka”. Winifrida dedicates her time to promoting women’s rights and women’s empowerment in her community in Puttalam, north-western Sri Lanka.
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Captain Zoya Sapra Aggarwal is a commercial pilot and the commander with Air India, TED speaker and an inspiration to young women and girls in India and everywhere. In 2013, she became the youngest female pilot to fly a Boeing-777. In January 2021, she made another milestone by commanding an all-women team of pilots to fly Air India’s longest non-stop commercial flight from San Francisco, USA to Bengaluru, India. She been pointed to the Aerotime Global Advisory Board in recognition of her significant role in the aviation industry.
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Women talking about their rights is frowned upon by their families and society at large. I wanted to use my privilege to highlight the struggles that women face in accessing basic rights including bodily rights and sexual and reproductive health. I’m doing that by creating spaces that empower other young people, including women and people with diverse gender identities, to be aware of their rights and to demand that they are respected.
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For the hundreds of families in the coastal communities of Barangay Tanza 2, the always-ready area Administrator, Irma Bantique Glomar, is the one to seek out if something needs fixing. “If something goes wrong, always ask Admin,” they like to say. And with a little help from UN Women, “Admin” has been instrumental in fixing the dilapidated wooden-plank walkways that traverse the community, connecting households and connecting the community to the main road outside.