Engaging Youth

Empowering youth to respond to community needs now, prepares them to be leaders in the future.

Through workshops, rallies, marches, and a host of other activities, WLP is encouraging youth, and especially young women, to take a stand and fight for their rights.

Program Highlights

Youth leadership workshops in 10+ countries 

GBV sensitization in schools

Training on technology and activism

Mentoring for young feminist leaders

Read more
Indonesia youth with sign 16 days campaign
One girl's message reads, "The honorable man is a feminist man," at a march to end gender-based violence, Indonesia.

Half of the world's population is under 25. Globalization, social media, and technology have shrunk the world for young people, bringing together ideas and individuals and expanding possibilities for communication and influence on a global scale. At the same time, globalization is hastening inequality in many parts of the world, and facilitating the spread of destructive, extremist ideologies. Over the last two decades, we have witnessed the devastating effects of online radicalization efforts among vulnerable young people, which is frequently concurrent with their becoming desensitized to human rights abuses. We have also seen revolutionary social activism among youth, and a passion to create change for justice and peace.

WLP partners enable young women and men to engage in local advocacy and movement building, from social media to the street. We reach youth in schools, community programs, vocational training groups, and university clubs, to empower them with information about human rights, leadership, and advocacy. We conduct youth workshops, sponsor creative outreach activities, and host conferences and forums where young people develop peer networks and collaborate on real-world campaigns.

Curriculum and Workshops for Youth

The manual, Yes I Can: Leadership for Teens, was developed by the Be-Free Center, a program of Bahrain Women Association (BWA) in consultation with WLP partners in Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, and Turkey. The Yes I Can curriculum focuses on the leadership capacities of girls and boys aged 13-17. It provides an understanding of gender in society, and a model for working together to achieve shared goals.

WLP partners use the Yes I Can curriculum alongside adaptations of WLP’s Leading to Choices to discuss current world events and local issues with young people. For instance, WLP’s partners in Brazil, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Zimbabwe conducted youth activism workshops with children and teenagers during the international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

Kyrgyzstan Youth Outreach for 16 Days to End VAW
Young women voice their ideas about leadership and youth activism in Kyrgyzstan.

Technology for Activism

Since WLP published Making IT Our Own: Information & Communication Technology Training of Trainers Manual in 2008, the use of technology to mobilize social activism has grown exponentially, particularly among young people. Equipped with smartphones and social media, youth around the world are agitating for political change, leading boycotts, campaigning for legislation and leaders, and bringing new ideas and hope to an ever-widening audience.

WLP is deeply engaged in teaching applied technology skills. For instance, WLP’s partner in Jordan hosts an annual Youth Tech Festival, where youth from across the MENA region develop websites, Twitter campaigns, Facebook pages, and other tech-activism tools on issues that concern them—violence against women, expanding literacy, combatting extremism, citizenship rights, and reforming family laws, to name a few. Another example is our partner in Brazil who worked closely with young people to create a popular social media forum and mobile app on sexual and reproductive health rights called Partiu Papo Reto.  

Morocco ADFM Youth Leadership Training 2015
Young women and men engage in a youth leadership and active citizenship training in Morocco. 

Young Feminist Mentoring

WLP trains and mentors junior activists in the global women’s movement to advocate for themselves and their futures, and to seek positions of leadership and influence.

Promising young participants in WLP trainings gain experience as facilitators in successive training of trainers workshops at the local, national, and regional levels. We connect them to our network of experienced activists and leaders and invite them to participate in public conferences and advocacy events. College students who participate in WLP’s leadership and political participation workshops are encouraged to take on leadership roles in political campaigns and parties, and to run for office. Graduates of our partners’ leadership and job skills trainings in Africa and the Middle East have gone on to launch their own small businesses, join economic cooperatives, and further their formal education.

See More