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Call for applications for Young Women Leaders Initiative

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Call for applications for Young Women Leaders Initiative

15 January 2021
A group of girls.

UN Women and UNV invite 10 young women from the Global South to serve at UN Women Headquarters in New York.

UN Women, in partnership with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, is excited to introduce the UN Women “Young Women Leaders” (YWL) initiative. The YWL initiative will engage a diverse cohort of young women from the Global South who are committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment and to the mission and work of the United Nations. It will also allow the sharing of experiences among young leaders from diverse backgrounds across the UN. 

AAs part of the Young Women Leaders initiative, UN Women and UNV will recruit the first cohort of 10 young, talented and dedicated women to serve at UN Women’s headquarters as UN Youth Volunteers. While participating in a structured professional development programme, the YWL participants will be mentored by leaders in their respective fields of expertise. They will have the opportunity to contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment and become part of a network of young leaders at UN Women.

The recent global mobilization for racial justice has shown how systems that perpetuate inequality can be easily disrupted. We are looking to young people to continue disrupting the status quo and to lead the way in building back more equal, unified and resilient societies for all.” — Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of UN Women.

UNV will facilitate the recruitment of motivated young women from the Global South who have demonstrated a commitment to gender equality through their academic, extra-curricular, or volunteer activities, and with diverse educational interests, including management, administration, international relations, communication, advocacy, human rights, gender studies or international development.

Diversity is also about opportunities and this is an important first step to increasing UN Women’s professional outreach.” — Muthoni Muriu, Senior Advisor on Diversity, Inclusion and Shared Leadership.

One in five UN Volunteers currently serving with UN Women are youth, building on its commitment to a new generation of gender equality advocates and in line with UN Women’s Generation Equality Initiative. Each of these young volunteers is contributing in their own way, bringing diverse experiences, perspectives, and motivation to make a meaningful contribution.

Eligibility Criteria:

You must be:

Under the age of 29 (between 18 – 29 years)

A woman from the Global South

Be passionate about volunteering for gender equality and women’s empowerment 


Apply here:

Women with disabilities, LGBTQI, gender non-conforming individuals, and other groups are especially encouraged to apply.