It’s clear the voices of girls and young women are critical in co-creating a just and sustainable future. However, young people need to be involved in designing the table where decisions are made and democratic processes occur as well as taking a seat.
Decision-makers must co-design participatory processes with girls and young women, in all our diversities, at different levels (local, regional and national), so that our experiences are accurately represented.
Intergenerational Dialogue on Young Women’s Participation
Earlier this month I was invited to join fellow girl advocates from around the world to participate in an intergenerational dialogue with high-level leaders. This dialogue was co-designed by girl advocates and addressed girls and young women’s participation in decision-making processes.
We believe that current youth participatory approaches need to be re-evaluated and re-designed, without the barriers associated with age. Age and maturity should no longer be used as an excuse for excluding girls and young women from participating in democracy.
Rather, the United Nations (UN), governments and community structures must systematically overhaul their approaches to youth participation and become more youth and gender-responsive. This includes embracing intersectional frameworks, valuing diverse experiences and recognising that vulnerable groups may need more support to participate.
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For a Fairer Future, Girls Must Help Design Decision- Making Processes