We are Generation Equality: the young champions of change

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UN Women

Billions of people stand up for what they believe in – an equal world for all. They come from all countries, of all ages and represent diverse origins. Together, they form Generation Equality.

From May 31 to June 6, we are celebrating #ActForEqual Week of Action and showcasing young leaders and their activism. Learn from them why the Generation Equality Forum is important for all generations. It’s up to all of us, and the Generation Equality Coalitions of Action, to accelerate concrete change for women and girls.

Join us by reading the perspectives of young people around the world who are leaders and agents of change, and sharing their stories.

Lana Ghneim, Jordan

Lana Ghneim, 23, from Jordan, is a member of the HeForShe campaign in Jordan, a solidarity movement for the promotion of gender equality led by UN Women. Photo: UN Women / Lauren Rooney

Lana Ghneim, 23, saw inequality through her own eyes. She saw how families treated their daughters and sons differently, and saw girls forced to drop out of school to get married. She knew it was wrong.

“I became more aware of gender and class inequalities and started trying to change the world around me,” says Lana.

She started volunteering with international organizations and movements, like UN Women’s HeForShe, and realized how important it was for her to have a positive impact on the lives of those around her, especially among young people and the next generation.

“It is important to start teaching gender equality to younger generations through educational and media campaigns. People need to be regularly exposed to these messages; normalizing gender equality is one of the most important issues in Jordan, ”says Lana. “If we don’t push for change now, future generations will face the same challenges. “

Majandra Rodriguez Acha, Peru

Majandra Rodriguez Acha.  Photo: UN Women / Amanda Voisard

Majandra Rodriguez Acha from Lima, Peru, is co-executive director of FRIDA, The Young Feminist Fund, co-founder and former co-coordinator of TierrActiva Perú. Photo: UN Women / Amanda Voisard

For Majandra Rodriguez Acha, a key part of feminism and climate action is recognizing the intersections of inequality and discrimination, and using your voice and your power to improve the lives of all.

“I recognize that those most affected by gender-based violence and gender inequalities are also the poorest and marginalized – black and brown women, indigenous women, rural women, young girls, girls living with disabilities, trans youth and gender non-conforming youth, ”says Majandra. “It’s not good and it’s not what anyone deserves. We deserve better. We can do better.

Majandra, a member of the UN Women Beijing + 25 Youth working group, works to empower young people, especially those from marginalized or under-represented groups, to become leaders of the climate justice movement.

“Young people are in many ways the solution,” she says. “We are living in a historic moment in terms of the climate crisis, which young people did not create, but we have the opportunity to show the way to center respect for nature and mutual respect.”

Munnira Katongole, South Africa

Munnira Katongole

Munnira Katongole. Photo courtesy of Munnira Katongole.

Munnira Katongole, 17, describes herself as a radical and shameless black feminist. Fed up with seeing girls and women suffer, she campaigns for the voice of girls and young women to be at the center of all decision-making, especially in social justice and climate change movements.

“The world as we know it was built on the backs of women of color and continues to be made alive by young women of color. We are not asking to be listened to, we do not owe any favors, we will have our rightful and due seats at the table, ”said Munnira. “Young women of color are the experts in their reality. We don’t need your help; we need your responsible solidarity.

Munnira, a member of the Youth Climate Policy Committee of the South African Institute of International Affairs, recognizes that young people, especially young Africans, make up a good portion of the population, which means they don’t can be excluded from decision-making frameworks.

“There must be a just and deep transition, politically informed by the voices and needs of all, especially poor and vulnerable communities,” she said. “Young people are now. Young people are the future.

Navya Naveli Nanda, India

Nanda shows off her posts outside the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York on April 3, 2021. Behind her is a mural painted by students on the theme of Black Lives Matter, with an emphasis on empowering women. black women.  Courtesy of Gauri Kanade

Nanda shows off her posts outside the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York on April 3, 2021. Behind her is a mural painted by students on the theme of Black Lives Matter, with an emphasis on empowering women. black women. Photo: Courtesy of Gauri Kanade

After drawing inspiration from progress in ending menstrual poverty in other countries, 23-year-old Navya Naveli Nanda co-founded a start-up that creates scientifically-backed health products for women in India and raises awareness of women’s health issues that are often stigmatized in the country.

“I remember hearing that Scotland became the first country to make menstrual products free,” says Navya. “I want to make this also possible in my country, where every day women struggle to access menstrual hygiene products and healthcare. I want to see this happen in my lifetime, which is why I started so young. We are responsible for building the world in which we want to live.

Now Navya is working not only to improve access to menstrual hygiene products, but also to spread education and end the taboo that leads to harmful customs. She also hopes to encourage other young people to become advocates for equality in their everyday lives.

“Learning about the problem brings you one step closer to the solution. Educate those around you on the pressing issues facing women today, ”she says. “Even the smallest acts of resistance can make a difference. “

Ajna Jusic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ajna Jusić, 26, is president of the Association of Forgotten Children of War.  Photo: UN Women / Maria Sanchez

Ajna Jusić, 26, is the president of the Forgotten Children of War association. Photo: UN Women / Maria Sanchez

Ajna Jusic, 26, was born of rape during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After uncovering a detailed account of what happened to her mother in a research text, Ajna vowed to connect with others who shared her experience and to stand up for her mother’s rights.

“In 2015, 15 of us met for the first time. For three hours, no one said a word. We just sat there and realized, for the first time, that we were not alone, ”Ajna says.

As president of the Association of Forgotten Children of War, Ajna works to recognize herself and other child victims of rape in wartime as a vulnerable group in order to improve their access to health care. health, psychological and legal support and scholarships.

“We don’t want to be invisible; we want to be treated on an equal footing, ”says Ajna.

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. See it in full here.



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