International Youth Day 2016


The theme for this year’s International Youth Day on 12 August, “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”, focuses on the leadership of youth in ending poverty and achieving sustainable development. Investing in young women’s leadership is a key aspect of UN Women’s work with youth around the world. It pays the highest dividends and translates into higher productivity at all levels. Promoting young women’s innovation and leadership in ensuring sustainability is critical for fulfilling the vision of Planet 50-50 by 2030.

Empowering young women and young men as partners in achieving gender equality.

Read UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's statement for International Youth Day.

Snapshots of our work

Sinet Seap with her former youth organization Youth Resource Development Programme and their volunteers. Photo: UN Women/Mariken B. Harbitz

“I sold my gold earrings to pay for the first year of university in Phnom Penh...”

SDG 4: Quality education

Sinet Seap, 31, is a youth activist from Kandal Province, Cambodia. She has worked with the civil society organization Youth Resource Development Programme and UN Women Cambodia on engaging youth, particularly young women. Read more »

Mary Mtaki with her mother at their Tunduma store, Tanzania.    Photo: UN Women Tanzania/Deepika Nath

Empowering young women entrepreneurs in Tanzania
Young women entrepreneurs in Tanzania gain skills in entrepreneurship, marketing accounting and cross-border trade through the UN Joint Programme on Youth Employment. Their incomes have increased, along with their confidence, and they are now generating employment opportunities for other youth.

Photo: UN Trust Fund/Theresia Thylin

Stopping bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan
A programme from the National Federation of Female Communities of Kyrgyzstan, supported by a grant from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, has introduced the first-ever curriculum on gender-based violence in Kyrgyz language in schools in rural Kyrgyzstan.

Join HerStory edit-a-thons

HerStory edit-a-thon

Wikipedia compiles what represents close to the sum of all human knowledge, and as an effort to ensure women are recognized as part of that sum, on the occasion of the International Youth Day, Empower Women is pleased to announce the launch of the HerStory initiative. Empower Women by UN Women, Wikimedia Foundation, the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, the UN Inter-agency Network on Youth Development's Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality, and hundreds of volunteer champions are working on enhancing the content on Wikipedia related to women and gender equality to raise awareness, close the gender knowledge gap, and start changing and editing the future. Join HerStory edit-a-thons to contribute, promote and celebrate women of the world. Make sure you going to be an agent of this ‘herstorical’ change. For more information, check the initiative website or reserve your spot now. 

More stories

Syrian refugee and Jordanian girls participate in a mixed-nationality football camp in Jordan. Photo: UN Women/Christopher Herwig

Football camps in Jordan plant seeds of friendship and cohesion
A project by UN Women organized football camps for adolescent girls, where Jordanian and Syrian refugee girls  in Jordan built friendships and social cohesion.

Micaele Fernandes

From where I stand: Micaele Fernandes
Micaele Fernandes, 16, a handball player from Rio de Janeiro, speaks about learning confidence, leadership and teamwork through sport.

Yoeurn Reaksa has been employed at a garment factory for over a year. Photo: UN Women Cambodia/Lisa Taieb

From where I stand: Yoeurn Reaksa
After moving from a rural district in Cambodia to Phnom Penh to work in a factory, Yoeurn Reaksa, 20, began working with CARE Cambodia to address sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace.

Winners of the Student Category, Lester’s Pips from PLM University. Left to right: Marc Joseph S. Aviñante, Ma. Richelle B. Aguilar, Allen Benedict J. Magpoc, Roemil G. Cabal. Photo: UN Women Safe Cities Manila Programme

Hacking to combat sexual harassment in Philippines
As part of UN Women’s Safe Cities Global Flagship Programme Initiative, the Metro Manila Programme held the first-ever hackathon in May 2016, to seek mobile technology solutions to sexual harassment and violence against women and girls in public spaces.

Sita Shrestha stands infront of community tab at Irkhu VDC-7 in Sindhupalchwok, Nepal. Photo: UN Women/N. Shrestha

From where I stand: Sita Shrestha
Sita Shrestha, 20, who helped construct a tap and organize villagers to turn a natural water source into a public space they could share in Nepal.

Desiree Akpa Akpro Loyou, 37, is a social worker and Deputy Commissioner General responsible for training, for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) in Cote d'Ivoire. Photo: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

From where I stand: Desirée Akpa Akpro Loyou
Desirée Akpa Akpro Loyou, 37, is a social worker and Deputy Commissioner General responsible for training, for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) in Côte d'Ivoire who works to teach Girl Guides how to deliver the non-formal education curriculum, Voices against violence.

Nora Hamdy has been an active community mobilizer through Empower Women since August 2014. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim

Fostering a new, empowered generation
Youth around the world work on projects to help women in their communities achieve their full potential.

20-year-old Kalaichelvi Kanagalingam could no longer afford her tuition fees in Kilinochichi, the Northern Sri Lanka, and received valuable training with the help of a UN Women Fund for Gender Equality-supported programme. Photo courtesy of the FGE.

Girls and young women gain ground in male-dominated fields
With support from UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality, young women around the world are entering non-traditional economic and political spheres, and redefining leadership on their own terms.

Ivy Wainain and Lynn Kirabo

From complex coding in Kigali to graduation gowns in Pittsburgh
Thanks to a UN Women-sponsored scholarship programme, two young African women fulfil their dreams of completing a Master’s in information security at Carnegie Mellon University