Гендер

Engaging young women and men in rural and agriculture development and resilience building in the face of COVID-19 and beyond

Empowering young women and men entails supporting youth-led and youth-serving organizations in their capacity to represent and engage young people while strengthening their social capital.

16/12/2020

Globally there are estimated 1.21 billion people aged between 15 and 24, a number that will increase to 1.29 billion by 2030. In Africa only, more than 10 million young people are expected to enter the labour market every year for the next decade. This growing youth population, especially in developing countries, represents a great opportunity for harnessing a demographic dividend, but also economic and social challenges, which could lead to political instability or conflict. With the COVID-19 crisis exacerbating existing vulnerabilities of rural young women and men and inequalities, it is crucial to design inclusive and sound gender-responsive policies and legislation that support investments in employment creation, formalization and adoption of labor standards in rural areas, providing equal opportunities for them. It is also important to ensure youth access to quality jobs with decent working conditions, including a living wage, health and safety at work, on-the-job training and access to social protection.

In view of the above, the fourth virtual dialogue of the Parliamentarians Actions for Gender Equality and Resilient Food Systems in Response to COVID-19 series focused on how to engage young women and men in rural and agriculture development and resilience building in the face of COVID-19 and beyond. Within the framework of the ECOWAS Network of Parliamentarians on Gender and Agriculture Investments in Agriculture and Food Security, supported by FAO, IISD and Oxfam, it was agreed to organize the webinar ‘’Engaging young women and men in rural and agriculture development and resilience building in the face of COVID-19 and beyond’’. This webinar gathered Parliamentarians and strategic partners from Africa and Asia Pacific, and other key stakeholders representing rural youth organizations and networks.

The important role of youth is acknowledged at international level by the strong commitments made in both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal and the African Union Agenda 2063. As highlighted by Mr Robert Guei, FAO Sub-Regional Coordinator for West Africa "inclusive transformation of rural economies and food systems will not be possible without young women and men".  In order to harness the possibilities offered by the demographic dividend, deliberate efforts are needed to empower young women and men through equal access to productive resources and services, as well as by providing them with decent employment and income-generating opportunities.

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