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Young feminists on the move!

Young people – particularly young women – are on the rise, leading feminist movements around the world. They are taking a stand and making big strides – they see what’s happening in their communities and around the world, and they’ve had enough. Now more than ever, we need the leadership of young people, to drive forward the kind of transformation we need. 

Young women are leading the charge for change. We’re seeing this everywhere – from Afghanistan to Alabama, from India to Iran, from Tonga to Texas.

And these days, there’s more reason to rise up than ever. I’ve said over and over and over – we’re just not doing that well. Equality is farther than ever, and every single one of our basic rights is at risk. Yes, everywhere. 

At the same time, young women’s movements are bringing us hope. They’re rising up relentlessly – often in the face of great risk. And they’re just not taking any crap.  

Young women are lighting figurative – and literal – fires everywhere. This fight isn’t about other women, over there – it’s all of us. In Iran, the movement ignited following the murder of Mahsa Amini is the fire sparking the feminist revolution in Iran. Following Amini’s death, brave women took to the streets to declare their call to action: Women! Life! Freedom! 

On November 10th, the UN General assembly called on Afghanistan’s Taliban to stop restricting women’s human rights. Women and girls are guilty simply for being women and girls – and women’s rights in Afghanistan have been on the decline since the Taliban reclaimed power in August of 2021. Women – especially young women – are taking a stand there, too.

In a recent article on Afghanistan, an Afghan woman asked: “When you have no freedom in your own country, then what does it mean to live here?” The same question can be asked by any woman today, in any country. Yes, even the US. Countries can not deny freedom, equality, rights to half of their population. All women – and particularly young women – are not going to let that happen.

On November 8th, young American women demanded to be heard. The overturning of Roe v. Wade has lit a fire amongst young women voters – they aren’t going back. The US Midterm Elections were supposed to bleed red, however young feminists demonstrated who really has the power. The strong turnout from young voters turned the red wave into light pink. 

The message from young feminists is clear: we are young AND feminist AND we will turn the vote. Or take to the streets. Or do whatever it takes. 

There’s a lot of conversation about young women’s feminist activism and leadership. I recently came across a guide by the World YWCA on how to consult young women-led feminist movements. This methodology differs from others in that it is meant to ignite transformation. That’s how I feel too – even raising key issues helps plant the seeds for change. The World YWCA Methodology centers girls and women in all their diversity, using a democratic and decolonized approach to place power firmly in the hands of young women as the architects of their own lives and choices. 

In fact, the World YWCA built this perspective from what they call Goal 2035, a quest for 100 million young women and girls to transform power structures to create justice, gender equality, and a world without violence and war. Goal 2035 aligns with other global goals including the Sustainable Development Goals to fully realize the potential of women and girls and the urgent need to bring forth change. 

All of that stuff is great on paper. But what does it mean in practice?

Full blog linked here!

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