In Focus: International Youth Day

On 29 November 2017, two women’s football teams, Karatas and Gazikent, played a special match to draw attention to the 16 Days of Activism campaign In Turkey.   Photo: UN Women
Photo: UN Women

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Transforming education for a new generation of leaders

In her statement for International Youth Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka calls to transform education by making learning accessible to all young people, regardless of their access to a physical classroom and better integrating technology into education, so that girls can connect to educational materials wherever they are. Read more

There are more young people in the world today than ever before, and they are at the heart of global movements and mobilizations. The global youth population—1.8 billion strong—represents endless opportunities for a more equal world and better future for all. To build that potential into real change, youth need access to relevant, equitable and inclusive education and spaces to raise their voice. 

This year’s theme for International Youth Day (12 August) focuses on “Transforming education”. Education is a human right and contributes to the achievement of nearly all of the Sustainable Development Goals, including eradicating poverty, improving health, promoting decent work, advancing gender equality and more.

Education and training of girls and young women was also a promise of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the blueprint for gender equality and women’s empowerment across the world, adopted in 1995. In 2020, 25 years on, as the world takes stock of progress made in advancing women’s rights and gender equality, UN Women is committed to ensuring that young people are at the centre of this process.

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On International Youth Day, UN Women is highlighting the voices of young people as they strive toward a more just, equal and sustainable world.



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On this International Youth Day, UN Women stands with young leaders everywhere who are transforming education to make it relevant and accessible. Together, we are shaping a future in which opportunities are equal for all.

Join the conversation

Youth are the present and the future. Recognize and encourage their energy, skills, and aspirations on International Youth Day.

Let your followers know how you take action, both online and offline, using #YouthDay #TransformingEducation (English).

A social media package with graphics and suggested messages in multiple languages can be found here.

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See previous In Focus packages: 2018