Youth as Active Drivers of Change

Overview: Girls, boys and youth as active drivers of change
1 May 2020

The Areas of Global Distinctiveness (AoGD) Overview provides an introduction to Plan International’s future programme ambitions under its 2017 – 2022 global strategy “100 Million Reasons”. It defines the most important strategies we want to focus on as an organisation at global level and the most important areas of work where we want to invest to build coherent, gender transformative programming.

Many young people feel excluded and disempowered by the existing formal political structures – the ballot box, political parties and parliaments. In the ways these structures operate and how decisions are taken, they fail to reflect and respond to young people’s needs or include their views – as the statistics suggest.

  • Less than 2% of the world’s parliamentarians are under 30 years, only 22% are women.
  • Voter turnout for 18 to 25 year olds is still lower than among other age groups.
  • Two out of three countries do not consult young people on policies that directly affect them.

Young people are therefore increasingly finding other ways to drive social change and express themselves politically – through digital tools and strategies, informal protests, innovative campaigns and projects. However, marginalised groups – poor, uneducated and rural youth, and especially girls and young women – are still not sufficiently heard. 

Our goal: Adolescents and youth take collective action for systemic social and political change. In particular, we will support girls and young women to engage politically to shape how decisions are taken; change perceptions on what they are capable of; and together with boys and young men, advance gender equality and young people’s rights

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Youth empowerment, Activism