Stories

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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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Mallika Iyer, 26, an Indian-American, served until July 2022 as Director of Asia and the Pacific and Europe Programs and Humanitarian Action at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. The civil society organization, based in New York, provides inputs to the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security, to which UN Women provides expertise. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Iyer is now studying at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
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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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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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Ramida Juengpaisal, 24, from Thailand, is a digital product designer and front-end developer from 5 Lab Group co., ltd. a creative software company that created the COVID-19 Tracker in Thailand. She aims to bridge design and technology to make a better society.
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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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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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[OP-ED by Mohammad Naciri and Atsuko Okuda] As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has swept South Asia in recent months, existing inequalities have come to light. One aspect stands out: access to technology has never been so crucial to ensuring public health and safety. Around the world, information and access to health care have largely moved online, and those left behind face grave disadvantages.
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Nitya Rathi is a middle-school student in New Delhi, India. She is passionate about dancing, and, she says, “I love animals, especially dogs, and it is more likely that I will remember the name, age and breed of your pet than you will.”
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Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality. "I used to do taekwondo in Hunza when I was young with my instructor and my brother. My family always supported me and encouraged my enthusiasm towards MMA, which is why I have accomplished so much and gained respect and admiration globally."
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When ventilators were becoming scarce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Somaya Faruqi, 17, led Afghanistan’s Girl’s Robotics Team as they developed a prototype ventilator to support their country’s health care system.
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As more individuals and young people are using digital spaces, the widespread issue of online hate speech and the tension of social cohesion amid the COVID-19 pandemic is gaining greater visibility.