From left to right: Akinyi Osanjo, LGBTQ+ rights researcher and Women Deliver Young Leader and Andrea Paola Hernández, writer and Women Deliver Young Leader

A Digital Future that is Co-Created by Young People is Crucial to Accelerating Progress on Gender Equality and Intersectional Justice.

For this year’s International Youth Day, Women Deliver Young Leaders Akinyi Osanjo of Kenya and Andrea Paola Hernández of Venezuela came together to share how young disruptors and social innovators are using digital spaces and technology to reinvent digital rights in order to increase accessibility and galvanize advocacy for gender equality.

Human rights and how they are expressed in the world change every time our society changes. Young people are always leading the way where disruption and change is born, so it is no surprise that they are also the ones reinventing and reimaging the world’s digital spaces to drive progress on gender equality. As we work together across generations to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including by reexamining how systems and spaces can be rebuilt to support a more just, inclusive, and gender-equal future, digital spaces, and the conversations that they unlock, have become more important than ever.

A digital future that is co-created by young people is crucial to accelerating progress on gender equality and intersectional justice. Below are a few of the key ways that young people are pushing for progress in digital spaces:

Harnessing Feminist Technology and Innovation. The Generation Equality Forum (GEF), under the theme, ‘Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality,’ launched a global 5-year action journey to accelerate gender equality by catalyzing collective action. By 2026, governments, women’s organizations, feminist and youth-led organizations, international organizations, and the private sector are aiming to cultivate a gender-equal world that invests in the development of inclusive, ethical, and community-driven digital spaces and accountability mechanisms. This includes by reducing harassment and other forms of online violence against women, as well as supporting women’s leadership. Throughout the GEF, decision makers spanning sectors and generations shared a deep recognition that real — and lasting — progress can only be achieved and sustained with the meaningful engagement and co-leadership of adolescents and young people — online and offline. Today, young people are coming together to build on the momentum of the GEF by calling for and creating the inclusive digital spaces needed for co-creation, co-learning, and the reduction of existing power imbalances.

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