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Reaping the Demographic Dividend: the Role of Young People in Sustainable Development

By: Isaac Ejakhegbe, Women Deliver Young Leader

Young people between the ages of 10 and 24 make up 1.8 billion  of the world population—they are strong, vibrant and have the potential to bring about huge development and social progress in any economy. With more young people concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, developing nations need to harness the strengths and advantages of having a surge in the youth population, one  that only needs to be educated and empowered in order to turn the fortune of their nations around. Read more...

What role can young people play in ending female genital mutilation in Nigeria?

By: Nnamdi Eseme, Women Deliver Young Leader

Female genital mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria continues to raise the concern among young people, especially girls and women. According to the World Health Organization, female genital mutilation is defined as all procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs, whether for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons.  The procedure can be incredibly painful, and it can also lead to harmful side effects such as excessive bleeding, genital tissue swelling, fever, infections, urinary problems, and even death. The need to end this practice is great. Read more...

Harnessing Africa’s Demographic Dividend: Reflections on ACSHR

By: Onward Chironda, Women Deliver Young Leader

The 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights (ACSHR) took place from February 8-12 in Accra, Ghana. The conference’s theme, “Realising Demographic Dividend in Africa: the Critical Importance of Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” highlighted that there is need to invest in youth to harness Africa’s Demographic dividend. Read more...

Women Deliver Young Leaders Advocate to Advance RMNCAH in Nigeria

By: Ajidagba Emman Babatunde, Women Deliver Young Leader Alumnus

Young people took center stage at a three-day inaugural summit titled “Accountability Now, Advancing RMNCAH in Nigeria,” organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Champions for Change, the public health institute, and other major stakeholders with supports from many international organizations including Women Deliver on February 16-18, 2016. The aim of the summit was to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)into the country’s effort to ensure the accountability of life-saving health care delivery for marginalized women, newborns, children and youths in Nigeria. The summit was an advocacy conference on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), where key leaders, innovators, and technical experts aimed to highlight the need and opportunities for RMNCAH within Nigeria. Read more...

Reflections from ICFP: “Nothing for us without us!”

By: Ahmed Aboushady, Ana Aguilera, and Patrick Segawa, Women Deliver Young Leaders

A volcanic eruption may have prevented young leaders from convening the International Conference on Family Planning in November 2015. But it didn’t stop us from talking about the importance of youth voices on this topic! In January 2016, more than 300 young people and over 3,000 experts and leaders in the field gathered in Bali, Indonesia for the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). Read more...

 

‘I Thought It Was a Nightmare:’ Rape and Unintended Pregnancy

By: Ephraim Kisangala, Women Deliver Young Leader

“I thought it was a nightmare!” said Jovia Alar*, who shared her nine-month ordeal with tears in her eyes. Jovia is a 14 year-old girl from Ssemuto, Mubende in Uganda. She is the eldest child of a single mother who supports her family by selling second-hand clothes in a seasonal market several miles away from home. One night, Jovia went to the nearby bushes to pick firewood that she would use to prepare supper, as she often did. Jovia recounts what happened next in her own words. Read more...

Carving a Way Forward in the Fight Against HIV

By: Catherine Nyambura, Women Deliver Young Leader

It has been 30 years since Kenya’s first case of HIV was diagnosed. The efforts to fight HIV/AIDS have been bittersweet, with a lot of lessons, challenges, and opportunities. The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) provides just the platform to reflect on the journey thus far and to carve a way forward. Read more...

Beyond World AIDS Day, Continuing the Work to End HIV in Nigeria

By: Isaac Ejakhegbe, Women Deliver Young Leader

While scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment and laws exist to protect people living with HIV, the work is not over. Worldwide, a large proportion of all new HIV infections occur in people under age 25. In Africa, the burden of HIV among youth is high. Despite this, many young people in Nigeria do not know the facts about how to protect themselves, and both stigma and discrimination remain a reality for people—particularly young people—living with the condition. Read more...

Ensuring Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services Through SDG3

By: Jennifer Amadi, Women Deliver Young Leader

Young women in Nigeria are caught between tradition and a shifting cultural landscape, brought about by urbanization, globalized economies, and a media-saturated environment. Many young women are unprepared to face the challenges that accompany limited access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including forced child birth, banishment from the community, infections, and even death. Read more....

We Must Educate Girls to End Child Marriage

By: Onward Chironda and Nehsuh Carine Alongifor, Women Deliver Young Leaders

Fifteen million girls are married every year before they turn 18. That means 15 million childhoods interrupted, 15 million lives forever changed. Child marriage is a violation of girls’ rights. It disrupts their access to education, jeopardizes their health, and makes them vulnerable to violence. It also keeps girls from reaching their full potential and from fully contributing to the social and economic growth of their families. Read more...

Ensuring Access to Education on Universal Children’s Day and Beyond

By: Joannes Yimbesalu, Women Deliver Young Leader

Every November 20th, I am reminded of my childhood and the fun of simply being a child. But I’m also reminded of the millions of children across the world who are denied their rights because they are children.

As Universal Children’s Day and the National Day of the Child, countries observe November 20th as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and a way to promote the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. This day marks significant international landmarks in children’s rights, including the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of both the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention of the Rights of the Child in 1989. Read more...

Women Deliver’s Young Leaders Program Named Top Model Youth Leadership Program


At Women Deliver, we believe that the health and rights of young people are a priority. They are powerful spokespeople for their own needs and agents of change who can transform policies, programs, and communities for the better. Across the globe, young people are driving social progress and directly influencing the sustainability and resilience of their communities and nations. Read more...

Finding a Role in the SDGs: My Experience at UNGA

By: Inaam Abuelsoud; Women Deliver Young Leader

Waking up to an email notification on a stuffy summer day in August, I read excitedly all the events scheduled to take place the following month in the unordered, bustling city of New York. Nervousness creeps over me, as I interrogate why I’m not as actively involved in advocacy as I should be. I think of my work and why I have been invited to take part in the unfolding of the global plan for development. I am exhausted thinking through the preparation I must undertake for this journey; how will I articulate the current project I have been working on and how does this apply to the SDGs? Read more...

Say NO to Child Labour and YES to Quality Education

By: Isaac Oriafo Ejakhegbe, Women Deliver Young Leader

“Education helps young people know about trending issues like the Sustainable Development Goals, one’s basic right as citizens and how to contribute to government developmental plan”  - 13, Junior

Between 50 and 60 million children between five and 11 worldwide are involved in some form of labour according to the ILO. This labour may threaten their education, health, and safety and too often many of these children are engaged in a manner that is hidden from the public eyes or in settings where child labour is considered normal and acceptable.

Engaging a Community to Ensure “Every Girl, One Contraceptive”

By: Maureen Odour, Women Deliver Young Leader

Too often, society blames only the girl for getting pregnant. The reality is that adolescent pregnancy is most often not the result of a deliberate choice, but rather the absence of choices, and of circumstances beyond a girl's control. Early pregnancy takes a toll on a girl's health, education and rights. It also prevents her from realizing her potential and adversely impacts the baby. A country's economy is also affected by teenage pregnancies as adolescent mothers are prevented from entering the workforce. Read more...

Fighting HIV/AIDS through Ending Stigma and Discrimination

By: Segawa Patrick, Women Deliver Young Leader

“…most people assume that someone with AIDS is immoral. They do not realize that there are other ways of transmission. They simply believe that if someone has AIDS, they must have acquired it through immoral behaviour. They associate you with criminals and hence discriminate against you.” (Male, PLHIV)

Uganda is lauded as a champion against HIV and AIDS for decades, having made tremendous strides in containing the epidemic and reversing its spread. However, the current statistics depict an increase in the incidence of HIV and young people are the group most affected. According to 2011 statistics by the Ministry of Health, 37 per cent of youths are HIV-positive and HIV prevalence is higher among female youths than their male counterparts.Read more...

Young People, the Change Makers!

By: Marsida Bandilli; Originally Posted on: Huffington Post 

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said: "No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts itself off from its youth severs its lifeline; it is condemned to bleed to death." Read More...

The UN: “Unlimited Negotiation”?

By: Edith Esinam Asamani, Women Deliver Young Leader and Dance4Life Ghana

Does the building with almost 200 colourful flags by the East River in New York City sound familiar to you? Well, if it does, you deserve to know that this building became even more popular these past few weeks as the new global blueprint for sustainable development was finalized.

Walking into the United Nations in the final week of the intergovernmental negotiations for the Post-2015 framework - the sustainable development agenda – conjured mixed feelings for me. I now call it the July 27-31 feelings. On one hand, I knew failure was not an option. Our Member States must listen to us. Read More...

The Power of Youth: Transformation of the Future

By: Gvantsa Khizanishvili, World Contraception Day Ambassador

Today’s generation of young people is the largest ever! There are 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 on our earth; this means that one out of six people in the world is a young person.  This generation of fast-growing youth, especially in lower-income regions, comes with big and specific aspirations for their future. Giving young people the opportunity to realize these aspirations and hearing young people’s needs, will determine our future. Read More...

Celebrating International Youth Day 2015

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

Women Deliver is no stranger to investing in youth voices which is why we’re so excited to celebrate International Youth Day (IYD) this year! Each year on 12 August, governments, policymakers, advocates, and youth celebrate the awareness day to draw attention to cultural and legal issues surrounding youth.  This year’s theme -  “Youth Civic Engagement”- is of critical importance as the engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable development. Read More...

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