Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan once said, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace.”
While UN Women Singapore continues to call upon the international community – governments, civil society, businesses and the general public – to recognize gender inequality and the impact it has on women and girls, we are encouraged to see the number of youth who are leading the way in empowering women in their communities.
We have been working hard behind the scenes to carry out our mission of empowering women and girls by increasing access to education and business/financial skills. Through our public education programmes, which reached more than 10,000 students in Singapore, we are seeing young people inspiring their peers to take action against human trafficking and other forms of violence against women.
The partnership with MasterCard in co-organizing Project Inspire is an example of a successful collaboration to engage youth at a global level. Now in its third year, Project Inspire has established an engaged community of supporters and advocates across 150 countries through our website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).
Over the last two years, we have received more than 800 proposals from teams across the globe. What’s more encouraging: within one month from the launch of Project Inspire 2013, we’ve also seen a great response with more than 70 entries submitted by youth from 20 countries!
The winning projects of 2011 and 2012 edition have also made great impact and improved the lives of many marginalised women and girls. You can follow their journey on the Project Inspire blog.
We are excited to continue building on this positive momentum, and more importantly, I hope you can encourage the youth around you to spread the message further. I always believe that by giving women the means to learn critical life and financial skills they will be able to earn a livelihood, and better the lives of their families and the communities they live in. What do you think?
If you have any stories that you’d like to share on initiatives supporting disadvantaged communities, please send them our way.