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On International Youth Day, we welcome Sruthi Chandrasekaran and Tasneem Kakal as guest contributors to this special newsletter edition.

Today, young people not only form the majority of the world’s population, they are leading movements, businesses, and governments. As a result, there is a new urgency for young people to be at the center of decisions that affect their lives: schooling, jobs, their bodies, sense of self, and relationships.

On this International Youth Day, we are celebrating the many successes of young people and highlighting how we are experts of our own lived experiences. We are particularly excited to share with you two timely resources that do just this: advocate for the needs of young people. 

The first is Girl Effect and Women Deliver’s new report, which explores how adolescent girls and young women in India, Malawi, and Rwanda utilize the internet to learn more about their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). As members of the Women Deliver Young Leader Research Committee, we, along with Girl Effect’s Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors (TEGAs), were consulted and involved in every phase of the research. The intersection of youth-centered health data and the role of the internet is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, when credible digital health resources and services are key to sustaining critical SRHR care. The internet can serve as a lifeline for young people, particularly when stigma around SRHR is still prevalent and in-person interactions are not possible. Click here to learn more about the report.  

COVID-19 has also altered the environment in which young advocates work, bringing new challenges. In this context, advocates of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) face new barriers to advancing their work. Together with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Women Deliver also published Together on the Path to Change: A Young Advocate’s Guide to Advancing Comprehensive Sexuality Education. This guide is designed to help young advocates to push for increased investments in and favorable policy environments for CSE at the global level while remaining rooted in their local and national movements. 

It is important that young people are able to access evidence-based, stigma-free information that enables them to make informed decisions about their health. During this turbulent time, the needs and desires of young people around their own sexual and reproductive health and rights must not be forgotten. We must remain connected to critical information, resources, platforms, and most importantly, each other. Working together makes us more powerful and will help us achieve a more equal, healthy, and prosperous world. 

Wishing everyone — young and young at heart — a happy International Youth Day, 
Tasneem and Sruthi
Women Deliver Young Leader Alumni

Featured ✨ Resources
Going Online for Sexual and Reproductive Health: Meaningfully Engaging Adolescent Girls and Young Women for Smarter Digital Interventions
This study meaningfully engaged young people throughout the whole process, including in shaping the research questions, collecting the data, discussing the results, and generating recommendations.

A Young Advocate’s Guide to Advancing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)
This guide provides evidence and arguments for CSE from different sectors and offers advice to young advocates who are interested in pushing for increased investments in and favorable policy environments for CSE at the global level.

What We're 🤓 Reading

Mapping the Movement: Young Leaders Around the World Apply a Gender Lens to COVID-19 Response

➔ Sexuality Education for Young People in Digital Spaces: A review of the evidence

➔ UNFPA pioneers digital solutions to sexuality education as classes move online amid COVID-19 pandemic

➔ Girl Effect, ICT: The Power of Technology for Girls in COVID-19 Digital Response

 An intersectional and feminist response to COVID-19

What We're 😍 Inspired By

Point of View: A nonprofit based in India that works at the intersections of sexuality, technology, and disability. Check out their Sex, Gender, Tech program and Deep Dives that explore data feminism.

➔ Feminist Principles of the Internet: Offers a set of statements that take a gender and sexual rights lens on critical internet-related rights. Examples of the principles include Access, Movements, and Embodiment.  

➔ Agents of IshqBased in India, a multimedia project on love, sex, and desire. They embody what fun, informative, and transformative sexuality education can look like. As they say, "We make cool video, beautiful images, and great audio about sex."

Love Matters: Blush-free facts and stories on love, sex, and relationships delivered to 18 to 30 year olds in areas where information on sexual and reproductive health and rights is censored or taboo. 

Copyright © 2020 Women Deliver, All rights reserved.

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