Several discourses on youth and the demographic dividend tend to focus on and be dominated by young men. Young women remain absent in discussions on youth development, with their voices considered peripheral and their bodies constructed as sites to be acted on through policy prescriptions developed by others for them. Yet, youth like all other identities is a gendered experience. And therefore all and any effort to harness the demographic dividend must firstly capture the voices, priorities and aspirations of all youth in their diversities, including young women – and secondly must be anchored in achieving gender equality.
The road map for achieving a demographic dividend developed by the African Union in this year of Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in the Youth” is centered around four pillars that are designed to ensure that as part of Agenda 2063, Africa has “a more prosperous future in which all its citizens, young, old, male, female, rural, urban, of all creeds and backgrounds are empowered to realize their full potential, live with satisfaction and pride about their continent”. The four pillars are:- (1) Employment and Entrepreneurship, (2) Education and Skills Development, (3) Health and Wellbeing and (4) Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment.
This Young Women and the Demographic Dividend in Africa Advocacy Brief examines critical actions and deliverables that are key accountability points for young women advocates – in articulating the priorities for young women within existing priorities outlined in the AU road map.
All in all, we hope that this Advocacy Brief will continue to contribute to a broader debate and analysis of the gender dynamics within the demographic dividend discourse – at the 29th African Union Summit, enrich national implementation of the 2017 AU Roadmap on Demographic Dividend and beyond – as well as ensure meaningful inclusion and participation of young women in the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063.
Click to download Young Women and the Demographic Dividend: Advocacy Brief (2017)
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For more information contact Catherine Nyambura, FEMNET’s Advocacy Programme Associate on email firstname.lastname@example.org