- ABOUT SAY NO
- AROUND THE WORLD
- THE ISSUE
- TAKE ACTION
AROUND THE WORLD
Three days, forty-two people, twenty-five nationalities: One great recipe for empowerment.
From 22 to 24 May, the Global UNiTE Youth Forum brought together youth activists from around the world to meet in Bangkok, and create a unique network to end violence against women and girls. A truly global space, the Forum incorporated workshops and learning sessions, in which participants shared experiences, ideas and their passion for human rights.
In the increasingly energized atmosphere, many found it easy to cross any barriers posed by language and culture, to form a close-knit group with big plans. As Dhruv Arora, a social media campaigner from India said, “I am so inspired. I plan to go back home and do even more than I was already doing”.
The Global UNiTE Youth Forum focused on the principle that young people are a driving force for change and can use their knowledge, power and passion to challenge the negative attitudes, gender stereotypes and behaviour that can lead to violence.
This means breaking the silence about violence against women and girls through promoting a culture of respect and zero tolerance. It also critically involves partnering with men and boys to build this culture, and help eliminate gender stereotypes.
The participants formed a UNiTE Youth Network and established plans to take their work forward after the Forum. The Youth Statement, which was presented to senior UN officials during the closing ceremony, emphasizes the crucial role of youth as agents of change and recognizes the importance of spaces that enable youth to share their experiences, ideas and challenges without fear of discrimination or stigma. In the Statement, commitments were made to expand, connect and share knowledge and approaches at global, regional and national levels on youth-specific issues.
Upon arriving at the closing ceremony, Nanda Krairiksh, Co-Chair UN Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, a key supporter of the UNiTE campaign, commented that the energy in the room was palpable. “Genuine social change can only come from individuals like yourselves,” she said. The UNiTE campaign depends on your commitment to build a future where violence against women is no longer tolerated, hidden or excused.”
As the Youth Forum came to a close, one thing was clear: this is a global network that promises to make its mark.