Woman at a radio station (Photo by Jeroen van Loon)

Youth Ask Leadership Conclave 2014 in Pakistan

About 150 young SRHR leaders from 19 cities across Pakistan participated in the two-day ‘Youth Ask Leadership Conclave 2014’, organized by Rutgers Pakistan. The event allows young people to become the face of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) initiatives at national and international events.

Notable development sector professionals, media, psychologists, social activists, and politicians attended the proceedings. The opening session on Saturday had Dr. Sania Nishtar, a renowned health Policy expert, as the key note speaker and Dutch Ambassador Marcel de Vink as the chief guest.

In a declaration the young leaders clearly communicated steps that can empower them to serve as catalysts for change. The ball for meaningful transformation is now in the court of the government.

The participants called for inclusion of life skills in school curriculum for promotion of healthy behaviours; initiation of programmes for sensitisation of young people, their parents and other stakeholders at grassroots level on human rights, communicable diseases; provision of protection to victims of violence, sexual abuse, harassment and forced marriages; and allocation of sufficient financial resources for health, education and population issues.

The conclave was organised by Rutgers, Pakistan, under the programme ‘Access, Services and Knowledge,’ funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its purpose was to provide young people with a common platform through which they can acquire knowledge for community leadership. It was also aimed at building young people’s individual capacity to make safe choices, have better access to health facilities and to create an enabling environment for free from prejudices, biases and cultural barriers that limit young peoples’ right to access non-judgmental and non-discriminatory health services.

 

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