Moving From Rhetoric to Action - Delivering for Young Women

16.03.2017 // By editor

As part of its knowledge management strategy, and as a follow up to the conversations emanating from the 2016 Regional DG Trends Youth Consultations, AGA collaborated with ISS to produce two policy briefs on young people. While one looked broadly at young people's participation in democratic governance spaces, this one zooms in on delivering for young women.  This policy brief on Moving From Rhetoric to Action - Delivering for Young Women is co-authored by Nebila Abdulmelik formerly of AGA and Peter Aling'o of ISS. 


In a world that is highly patriarchal and ageist, young African women between the ages of 15 and 35 find themselves in a conundrum, frequently facing a double burden brought about by their gender and age, and falling through the cracks of government programmes. While the need to empower young women is often couched in an argument of numbers, this policy brief argues that through enhanced action and deliberate policy choices to promote their development and equality, young women will be better placed to make meaningful contributions to Africa’s aspirations as laid out in Agenda 2063 and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Key Points

1. There can be no democratic governance and transformative development in Africa without the full and meaningful inclusion and participation of young women, who constitute a large size of the women and youth population in Africa. 

2. The legal frameworks and norms that exist, while necessary, are insufficient to protect young women’s rights and must be complemented by a change in attitudes, cultural and institutional reforms, and greater political commitment towards the plight of young women in Africa. 

3. Young Women often fall through the cracks of women and youth movements as well as programs meant to safeguard the rights of both groups. The proposed African Governance Architecture (AGA) Women’s engagement and the Youth in peacebuilding programmes present an opportunity for the AU to move beyond paying lip service to the agenda for young women on the continent. 


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