Youth and innovation

Investing in Iraqi youth

Youth should not be viewed only as beneficiaries of the development process, or even as leaders of the future. They should be partners of today in view of the force and inspiration that young people represent. Therefore, UN Women keenly believes in the role of youth in shaping a better future for all.

Both young women and men, girls and boys, should be given the chance to speak for themselves and build a more sustainable and better world for the future to which they aspire. They should speak up for those who have been marginalized, silenced and stigmatized. The youth represent a new generation, and will soon be leaders of economies, societies and political systems that will be different from what they are today. They will work to uphold human rights and achieve gender equality in a manner that leaves no one behind.

On this basis, UN Women is working to ensure that Iraqi youth have their say and have a role in shaping the future of their country. The Iraq Country Office is thus keen to ensure that young women and men are substantively involved in all its activities and programmes in Iraq.


21 Youth Alliance

As part of UN Women efforts to promote the political and social engagement of Iraqi Youth, UN Women has supported the establishment of the 21 Youth Alliance. The alliance consist of a diverse group of Iraqi youth women and men activists representing various parts of Iraq, including the Kurdistan region. Its members believe in the importance of supporting women’s role in the political, social and cultural fields and work together to build the capacities of women and enable them to take part in decision-making processes and assume leadership positions in various public and private sector organizations.

The 21 Youth Alliance works independently to carry out programmes and raise awareness on the important role of women in society through advocacy, capacity building activities, strategic planning, and implementing action plans to empower women and improve their meaningful contribution. The activities and programmes are carried out directly by its members, in collaboration with local authorities as well as with local and international civil society organizations. They focus on public issues that impact gender equality, including laws and legislations, working to shape and influence public opinion.