Meaningful Youth Engagement: Sharing Power, Advancing Progress, Driving Change

There’s power in numbers, so let’s talk about them. More than half the world’s population is under the age of 30. The largest youth population in historyi means that there are more than 1.8 billion youth alive today.

It’s understandable, then, that the sheer size of today’s youth population is often cited as a reason to take action for young people’s health and rights, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Yet, this is hardly the most compelling reason to meaningfully engage young people in these areas. When it comes to meaningfully engaging young people, it’s about way more than just the numbers.

Young people are uniquely positioned to disrupt power dynamics that have contributed to grave challenges throughout the world, such as climate change, poverty, conflict, violence, and persistent gender inequality, including lack of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights. Through the Women Deliver Young Leaders Program and many other channels, Women Deliver has come to see firsthand how young people today hold the key to unlocking society’s collective progress on some of the world’s most entrenched problems. Tapping into this power requires establishing new ways of working and interacting that meaningfully engage youth in a broad range of policies and programs focused on building a healthier, equitable, and sustainable society.