Generation Equality - Youth Forum : a great opportunity for young senegalese to commit themselves to the cause of women and girls

Dakar, 18 June 2021 | The Youth Forum, one of the flagship events organised in Senegal as part of the Generation Equality campaign, was held on Thursday 17 June at the Place du Souvenir Africain and brought together nearly 200 young people who came to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and to commit themselves to the cause of women and girls.

Génération Egalité-Forum des jeunes

The Generation Equality Forum, launched in 2020, is organized by UN Women and co-chaired by the governments of France and Mexico as part of the celebration of 25 years of the Beijing Platform and Platform for Action. After kicking off in Mexico City from 29-31 March 2021, this global conference on women's rights will culminate in Paris from 30 June to 2 July 2021.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a landmark instrument in the process of committing to and reaffirming the rights of women and girls around the world. Adopted in 1995 by 189 UN Member States at the Fourth World Conference on Women, the Declaration supported the fundamental principle that the rights of women and girls are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights. Under the leadership of the current President of the High Council of Territorial Collectivities, Mrs. Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, pioneers such as Maréma Touré Thiam, Awa Wade Sow, among others, also participated in the Conference to represent and defend the cause of women and girls in Senegal and Africa.

As a reminder, the Generation Equality Forum marking 25 years of Beijing is centred on six (06) coalitions of action that aim to mobilise: States, international organisations, civil society and youth organisations, and private sector companies, with the aim of obtaining concrete, ambitious and transformative commitments in favour of equality between women and men.

Senegal intends to participate in the Generation Equality Forum in Paris like other members of the international community and has taken the initiative to fully involve youth in the preparatory activities, hence the holding of this youth forum.

The Forum was attended by Mr. Siaka Coulibaly, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System; Mr. Khadim DIOP, President of the National Youth Council; Mr. Mor Khoudia GUEYE, Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth; Mr. Mame Ngor DIOUF, Secretary General of the MFFGPE, and Ms. Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director of UN Women.

The event was able to galvanise youth action in favour of the rights of women and girls. The opportunity was taken to share with young people the content of the 3 coalitions to which Senegal has adhered, namely :

  1. Gender-based violence;
  2. Justice and economic rights;
  3. Technologies and innovations for gender equality. 

Ms. Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director of UN Women for West and Central Africa, encouraged the young participants by saying: "Young girls, you must commit yourselves to ensuring that you are represented in decision-making bodies, and even lead certain institutions. There are people around the world who are convinced that a girl should not go to school. So you are privileged, you have a mandate to represent all those who are not as fortunate.

Addressing the young people, Mr Khadim Diop, President of the National Youth Council of Senegal, recalled: "Beyond the ratified texts and governmental commitments, our constitution guarantees gender equality. All national, regional, continental and international human rights texts are available. You must know them, appropriate them and defend them.

Grouped in workshops, the 200 young participants in the Forum were able, at the end of the day of reflection, to make key recommendations, including :

  • The establishment and strengthening of structures for the holistic management of gender-based violence in all localities of Senegal;
  • The funding and support of initiatives at community level in the framework of corporate social responsibility;
  • The promotion of teaching programmes on ICTs, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development in French and local languages;
  • The establishment of fiscal advantages for businesses founded by women in all sectors of activity by offering them special support in the insertion and/or implementation of their businesses.
  • This friendly day of exchange was also punctuated by performances by artists such as Amira Abed, Jah Man Xpress, Moona, Fatou Guéwel Diouf who also wanted to express through their art their commitment to the cause of women and girls. 

For more information and to participate in the Generation Equality Forum, visit https://forum.generationequality.org/fr

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