A Young Woman’s Vision for Global Development
At this year’s Women Deliver conference, youth leaders had the opportunity to share our vision and priorities for the future global development agenda. I was pleased to share the stage with advocates from Egypt, Indonesia, and Greece – Ahmed Awadalla, Yulia Dwi Andriyanti, and Nefeli Themeli, respectively – to discuss the opportunities and challenges in ensuring that the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people remains front and center in this critical time when governments and the United Nations are evaluating the global development agenda post-2015, as well as evaluating progress towards fulfilling the ICPD Programme of Action.
When the ICPD Programme of Action was agreed to at the International Conference on Population and Development, I was only six years old. Many of the young people with whom I currently work, as a civil society representative in various post-2015 consultations, weren’t even born. In 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals were adopted, few of us were old enough to participate. Being a part of the post-2015 process matters so much to me because it is time for my generation not only to be heard, but also to have a seat at the negotiation table.
With nearly half the world’s population under the age of 25, today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known. We have an unprecedented opportunity to transform global economies, politics, and development strategies. We have more access to political processes and decision makers. We also have the experience and knowledge needed to build consensus, develop effective approaches to the world’s toughest problems, and support each other’s work both on the ground and through the Internet.
The leaders who developed the Programme of Action provided us with a solid foundation, but implementation has been slow, funding has been insufficient, and the world has changed significantly in the 20 years since governments agreed to the Cairo agenda. We now face new global threats, like climate change, that intensify existing sexual and reproductive health and rights challenges. And the shifting landscape of international aid has many countries caught in what some call the “middle-income trap.”
Over the last two decades, economic growth in my region, Latin America and the Caribbean, has produced regional and national statistics that mask glaring inequalities within and among countries. Seventy percent of poor people around the world live in middle-income countries, and more than 50 million people in my region live on less than $2 USD a day. As a region, Latin America has the highest rates of inequality, yet international donors are withdrawing much-needed funds for sexual and reproductive health and other key development issues.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.ippfwhr.org/en/blog/young-womans-vision-global-development
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