Invest in New Media for Better Health of Young People

By Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

How can we connect for good, connect for all, and build a better world by 2030? To answer this question, global leaders and advocates from around the world convened at the 2014 Social Good Summit this week and to discuss key social issues shaping the future of our world today, like climate change, peace, gender inequality, and health crises like Ebola. Held in conjunction with the 69th Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the summit was an opportunity for young people to not only take part in the conversation, but to lead them.

With conversations conducted in 42 languages from 150 countries, the summit – held on Sunday and Monday – amplified the voice of young people and the future of new media technologies. Many shared stories about how new media technologies like mobile phones are changing the lives of many in the developing world. Through the use of technologies like short message service (SMS), mobile phones, text messaging and social media, young people are accessing information like sexual and reproductive health education and services in ways never that were never before possible.

It was exciting to see young people not only take part but also lead these conversations, particularly around the power of new media technologies and how they will continue to shape our health choices. The call for a more collective approach to invest in young people’s access to comprehensive sexual education, and reproductive health information and services was loud. We must encourage stakeholders to come together and collaborate with youth to ensure their voices are heard and their right to SRHR information and services is ensured for the future. The Social Good Summit helped highlight the ways that investment in youth and SRHR may be increased:

  • Commitment from government to invest in a quality comprehensive sexual education and access SRHR services.
  • Investment in more public and private partnerships aimed at promoting SRHR initiatives, especially those targeting young people, like Women Deliver’s C-Exchange.
  • Stakeholder investment in more innovative new media technologies, such as mobile technology, social media, and Internet-based solutions.

As UNGA week continues, let’s keep the dialogues going and bring young people to the table to ensure the post-2015 development agenda includes the needs of the next generation. They are the best advocates for their rights and needs, eager to build a more sustainable future. The time to listen is now. 

As UNGA week continues, let’s keep the dialogues going

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