Youth and gender equality

The opening of the Youth Forum at the 60th session of the Commission of the Status of Women, 11 March 2016 in New York. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

There are 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 in the world—the largest youth population ever [1]. Of these, 600 million are adolescent girls and young women.

Across the world, young women continue to face gender-based discrimination, marginalization, and violence, including unequal access to education and opportunities for leadership and participation.

The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development must deliver equal gains for youth. The force and inspiration of our youngest leaders are critical drivers for accelerating progress on sustainable development and gender equality.

Our solutions

UN Women’s new youth and gender equality strategy seeks to empower young women and young men as partners in achieving gender equality, and aims to ‘engender’ the youth movement and ‘enyouth’ the women’s movement.

Building on UN Women’s Strategic Plan, the Youth and Gender Equality Strategy and its ‘LEAPs’ Framework includes three thematic pillars —Leadership of young women in all spheres; Economic empowerment and skills development of young women; and Action on ending violence against young women and girls—and three cross-cutting approaches—strengthening Participation, voice and partnerships with young women and young women-led organizations and networks, with young men as partners of gender equality, and with inter-generational partners .

View the UN Women youth strategy and thematic brief


[1] UNFPA, The State of the World’s Population 2014, “The Power of 1.8 Billion - Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future”, UNFPA, 2014