Today the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth and UN Women organised a Commission for Social Development side event focusing on empowerment and leadership of young women and girls.

The panel discussion featured the UN Women Deputy Director Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Permanent Representative of Belgium, H.E. Ms. Bénédicte Frankinet, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, H.E. Mr. Masood Khan, Youth Delegate from Sri Lanka Ms. Chapa Pereira,  and Youth Delegate from the Netherlands Ms. Ralien Bekkers, with Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, serving as moderator.

“It is very important that young girls’ voices, participation, and leadership are brought into the mainstream,” said UN Women Deputy Director Ms. Lakshmi Puri.

Some of the points raised by panelists and the audience included the integration of young men and boys to promote gender equality, transformation of negative media stereotypes, and access to resources such as technology. Both barriers to and pathways forward were discussed, underscoring the need to prioritize young women and girls in the future development agenda.

“We cannot rewrite history, but we can write the future—a future agenda that empowers women,” concluded H.E. Mr. Masood Khan.