In Focus: International Youth Day

Young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina exchange ideas on outreach focused on breaking gender stereotypes. Photo: UN Women Europe and Central Asia/Rena Effendi
Young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina exchange ideas on outreach focused on breaking gender stereotypes. Photo: UN Women Europe and Central Asia/Rena Effendi

Top stories | Publications | In numbers | Join the conversation


The global youth population—1.8 billion strong—represents boundless possibilities and talent to build a peaceful and sustainable world. The theme for International Youth Day, 12 August, 2017, focuses specifically on "Youth Building Peace".

Peace and stability has to be built with youth

In her statement for International Youth Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka states "Peace and stability cannot be built without young women and men, and it cannot be built for them—it has to be built with them". Read more»

Young women and girls have a diverse range of roles and experiences during and after conflict. They are combatants, collaborators, mediators and peacebuilders, as well as victims and casualties of war, facing additional layers of violence and discrimination because of their age and gender. Their leadership and perspectives are indispensable for stopping conflicts and healing communities.

The 2015 Global Study on the Implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 strongly recommended increased involvement of young people in women, peace and security issues at the national, regional and global levels. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 16, which promotes peace, justice and strong institutions, also requires full engagement of young people, and young women, in particular.

The promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind” demands that we include young women at the centre of our interventions to build peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies.

Learn more about UN Women’s overall work with youth spanning issues such as ending violence against women, leadership, entrepreneurship and more.

Below, a glimpse into youth efforts on this year’s theme of “Youth Building Peace”.

Top stories

Diana Ruslan Kyzy, a peer educator. Photo: UN Women Kyrgyzstan/Gerald Gunther

In Kyrgyzstan, youth are at the forefront of building peaceful communities

What does engaging youth to build peaceful communities look like? In rural Kyrgyzstan, a UN Women programme has empowered 15,000 young people to take action to prevent violence, promote gender equality and build tolerance of diversity in their communities. Through initiatives such as “My Safe and Peaceful School” and “My Prosperous Farm”, youth have also gained life and livelihood skills.

From where I stand: “I know I can rock the world with my code!”

19-year-old Ileana Crudu is a relentless ambassador encouraging girls to study technology and continues to advocate for girls' and women's participation in the ICT sector.

In the words of Ani Jilozian: "Ultimately, this violence stems from patriarchy"

Ani Jilozian works with women and girl survivors of domestic violence in Armenia and finds inspiration in their resilience to overcome trauma and rebuild their lives.

From where I stand: “I want us all to be feminists and work together to stop violence against women and girls”

Aiturgan Djoldoshbekova, 16, participates in an education programme in Kyrgyzstan to empower girls, initiate inter-generational dialogues to change attitudes and to end bride kidnapping, early and/or forced marriages.


Girls in Moldova hone their STEM skills and take a stand against domestic violence

65 Moldovan girls aged 16 to 20 explored web development, robotics, and 3D at the GirlsGoIT summer camp. They also tackled domestic violence and cyber violence issues and discussed solutions to end them.



Publications

Youth leap into gender equality

Youth LEAP into gender equality
UN Women’s youth and gender equality strategy seeks to empower young women and young men as partners in achieving gender equality.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for Youth

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for Youth
This resource explains CEDAW’s impact in advancing gender equality and human rights for women and girls and summarizes the articles of CEDAW.


In numbers

Every minute a young woman is newly  infected with HIV
A young woman with a university education is two times more likely to be employed than one with less education

Join the conversation

Join the conversation by following #YouthDay, #Youth4Peace and @UN_Women on Twitter. Tune in for a Facebook Live broadcast of our event on “Peacebuilding for and by Young Women,” 11 August at 2.30 pm EST.

A social media package with sample messages in English, Spanish and French for sharing across platforms is available here.