It’s been an incredible week for the power of youth advocacy. In the run-up to International Youth Day, through the youth-led #NotMySchool campaign, UNGEI and partners have been amplifying the voices of young people from across the globe, coming together as a collective voice to stand up and speak out against school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV). The activists who led the campaign are just a handful of the millions of young people working towards the same goal. Together, they are an unstoppable force for change.
Some of the topics covered through the live video series include the meaning of SRGBV, its root causes and impact, and top tips on building an advocacy movement, making schools safe spaces, and raising awareness around GBV. The #NotMySchool youth advocates are a diverse group, bringing perspectives from the LGBTIQ+ community, young people with disabilities, youths who have experienced conflict, and are from marginalised backgrounds.
On International Youth Day, we bring you just some of the highlights in quotes from an unforgettable week of youth activism to break the silence around SRGBV:
The time is NOW
It is time for us to finally recognise and act on the fact that youth have a critical role to play in achieving quality education for all. We must be included in the decision-making processes. No more excuses. Let this week be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue with youth to end SRGBV once and for all. We are strong, we are powerful, and we will be heard. As Sierra Leonean youth advocate Mohamed Sidibay put it:
“If each of us ensure that when it comes to SRGBV, it’s Not My School, we can make schools much safer for boys and girls across the world”.
Thank you to all the youth who came together to create and lead the #NotMySchool Campaign. This is just the beginning.