Today, UN Women's Generation Equality Youth Task Force, which represents youth around the world, announced the addition of 11 new youth leaders to strengthen its membership.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Women launched the Generation Equality campaign, with a strong focus on intergenerational and youth engagement to advance gender equality. The Generation Equality Youth Task Force (formerly Beijing+25 Youth Task Force) was set up to represent young people in all their diversity and intersectionality, to facilitate youth leadership and participation in the upcoming Generation Equality Forum, a civil society-centred, global gathering for gender equality, to be convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France in 2021. The Forum will launch a set of concrete, ambitious, and transformative actions to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality.
To further bolster its diversity and influence in global processes and decision-making in the context of the Generation Equality Forum, the Youth Task Force launched a call for applications to expand its membership in August. Following a comprehensive review process for 600+ applicants and interviews, the selection committee invited 11 young leaders to join the Task Force, bringing its total number of members to 40.
The 11 new members are: Audrey Fontaine (France); Philli Julai (Papua New Guinea); Kristina Orlova (Turkmenistan); Sofia Scarlat (Romania); Michelle Belfore (Suriname); Sylvain Obedi Katindi (Congo); Montinard Steenia Sheensy (Haiti); Julieta Martinez (Chile); Mevowanous Chanceline Gladys (Benin); Hawa Yokie (Sierra Leone); Julian Kerboghossian (Lebanon). For more information, read their full bios.
The new members of the Youth Task Force represent diverse constituencies, including young people living with HIV, disabilities, LGBTIQ+ youth, adolescents, indigenous youth, afro-descendants, ethnic, religious or caste minorities, health sector professionals and climate justice activists.
On 1 October, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the Generation Equality Youth Task Force also launched "25 Years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: A Youth Report", which reflects on the progress and challenges in the 12 Critical Areas of Concern enshrined in the Beijing Platform for Action as they relate to youth inclusion and participation. The report takes a closer look at the gaps and new challenges that have emerged since 1995, including climate justice, technology, intersectional inequalities, menstrual poverty and stigma, trafficking in women and girls, and resourcing feminist movements.
Furthermore, the report considers how perspectives from privileged voices within the Global North dominate international policies and processes and calls for more attention to intersectional inequalities to address the persistent gender and power inequalities. Read the full report here.