Strengthening Inter-Generational Partnerships:
CSW61 Youth Forum
Written by Lynda Mwakisha
During the second day of the Youth Forum at CSW61, delegates and leaders from all over the world have once again congregated to discuss women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. A myriad of people: Different races and colors, religions and traditions, gender and sexualities and even more importantly, people in different age groups are all assembled at UN HQ- NYC.
In an empowering panel that discussed strengthening inter-generational partnerships, panelists emphasized the power of incorporating the wisdom and experience of older generations with the innovation of the younger ones.
Presently, it is in many situations that the youth perspective is not considered when making decisions regarding equality and the entire social justice agenda. One panelist referred to inter-generational partnership as a “new concept” even though the workforce among other spheres has provided opportunity for more experienced workers to interact with younger ones for a while now.
In Kenya for example, for a long time, youth voices were disregarded as inexperienced, perhaps even childish. Older men ran the Kenyan political arena. They had been in office for years and perhaps had a harder time developing new ideas and innovations for the country.
It was not until the last presidential elections that there was a call for youth voices, and there was special emphasis placed on youth unemployment and the fulfillment of youth needs. President Kenyatta, then in his early fifties ran for office as the young contender. His campaign magnified the importance of youth empowerment. As a result, the youth have had more of a voice not just in politics but in various development sectors especially when compared to previous years.
The panel discussion asserted that inter-generational participation is not about just dialogue. One of the panelists at the Youth Forum Mrs. Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda stated that it includes “moving from rhetoric and analysis to doing”. There is need for action, and fast. There is need for participation in a practical and comprehensive way across the board.
Panelist Lopa Banjeree also emphasized that inter-generational participation means inclusiveness and sharing power. Our panelists led by example by asking eleven year old Elizabeth to become part of the panel discussing inter-generational participation.
The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda will not be attained if some groups are left out. SDGs are for everyone, hence, inter-generational leadership, advocacy and interaction is imperative.