HD Track

Empowering Youth to Achieve Gender Equality

Betts Theatre


Anna Blue, Co-Executive Director, Girl Up

Lee Schwartz, Teen Advisor, Girl Up

Christopher Hook, Development Officer, Promundo

Giovanna Villalobos, Distinguished Youth Speaker

Unami Jeremiah, Women Deliver Young Leader


One of the core targets in the United Nations push for reduced inequalities around the world is the achievement of equal rights and opportunities for women and girls. Gender parity means more than just the end of discrimination against women and often involves addressing structural issues such as misogynistic social norms and developing legal frameworks that empower and promote equality for women. Progress is being made in this field, and awareness is growing with the MeToo and Time’sUp movements, but there is still a long way to go. The gender pay gap is still prevalent and sometimes wide around the world, one in five women globally report having experienced violence from an intimate partner, and in global politics, only 23% of parliamentarians are women. Even worse, there are 650 million women worldwide who were married in childhood, and in 30 countries a third of girls are subjected to female genital mutilation (Source: UN SDG Knowledge Platform ). This panel will seek to discuss the latest progress and pathways forward for achieving gender equality. Particular focus will be given to how to better empower young women and girls, as well as how young people themselves can best make an impact in this field.

Possible Discussion Points:

  • Gender issues have received increased media attention in recent years, but are things getting better on the ground?
  • How can we eradicate the worst abuses of women such as FGM and childhood marriage?
  • How can we increase female representation in politics, and especially that of young women?
  • How is progress being made to close the gender pay gap? Has there been more success in certain countries or regions as opposed to others, and what lessons can we learn from this?
  • Some reports predict that gender parity in the workplace could add $12 trillion to the global economy. How exactly does gender equality benefit employers and businesses?
  • Gender stereotypes can affect people at a young age – how can education be adapted to better advance gender equality?
  • How can young people best get involved in the work that is being done to empower women? How important is it for young men to be on board with this issue as well?
  • What skills, knowledge, and practices do young people need to make an impact in this field?