By Eman Borg (he/him) - Coordinator: Commonwealth Youth Gender Equality Network.
In a world grappling with persistent gender inequalities, young people have a pivotal role to play in shaping a more equitable future. The Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network (CYGEN) stands as a beacon for youth-led initiatives, actively championing the meaningful inclusion of young voices on gender equality issues. As we launch the #REFORM campaign, it’s crucial to understand why joining CYGEN is not just an opportunity but a responsibility for the youth.
Discriminatory gender norms continue to cast shadows on the lives of young individuals globally. CYGEN recognises that young people often find themselves at the receiving end of gender-based discrimination, prejudice and violence. However, instead of viewing youth solely as victims, CYGEN acknowledged the potential of youth in crafting solutions, addressing intersectional challenges and championing equality.
At the core of CYGEN’s mission is the aim to improve the position of young people by advocating for increased meaningful engagement and participation in structures, processes and governance. The network facilitates platforms for young individuals to voice their concerns on gender equality issues that not only affect them personally but reverberate across the diverse community across the Commonwealth.
CYGEN is not just a standalone initiative; it is supported by The Royal Commonwealth Society, serving as the secretariat of the Network. This sustainable backing adds weight to CYGEN’s endeavour, providing a robust foundation for impactful advocacy and meaningful change. Through this relationship in 2019, CYGEN launched #REFORM53 a Commonwealth wide campaign, today we reevaluate, readdress, and recall the need for young people in the Commonwealth to prioritise the capacity building for legal reform.. #REFORM is a digital campaign spearheaded by CYGEN to leverage various social media platforms in the dissemination of accurate information, factual statistics and educate the gender youth about discriminatory laws. Such laws disproportionately impact women, girls and LGBTI+ individuals. The campaign sends a clear message to leaders of all Commonwealth countries, it’s time to dismantle archaic laws and embrace a future where equality knows no bounds.
By joining CYGEN and actively participating in the #REFORM campaign, share and engage young individuals not only become agents of change but also contribute to reshaping the narrative surrounding gender equality. You have until the 15th of March to do so — https://bit.ly/CYGEN2024
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Royal Commonwealth Society.