Youth Forum at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women


United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

11th and 12th March 2017

Youth Create Gender Equality-

Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work

11th March 2017

Opening Ceremony – Conference Room 4

9:15 – 9:20am

9:20 – 9:40am

9:40 – 9:45am

9:45 – 11: 00am

Musical Performance – Tess Wolgemuth, Trevor Arnett & William    Otuck

Informal Dialogue with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, on Youth and Gender Equality

Musical Performance – Meredith O’Connor, Singer, Anti-bullying Activist

Opening Statements

  • Young Female Feminist
  • Young Male Feminist
  • H.E. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Malayah Harper, General Secretary of World YWCA
  • Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary General & Deputy Executive Director, UN Women
  • Aishwarya Dhanush, UN Women Goodwill Advocate, India
  • Cristina Gallach, USG, UN Department of Public Information -- Launch of Africa Renewal Magazine Special Edition on Youth

11:15 – 12:45 pm

Plenary: Investing in Young Women’s Leadership in the Implementations of SDGs - Conference Room 4


  • Tshidi Likate, SC South African Youth Advocate

Keynote Speaker:

  • Jolly Amatya, US National Committee, UN Women


  • Stace June Shelton, Global Head of Education & Advocacy for the Dove Self-esteem Project
  • Pernille Borgbo, Youth Adviser, The Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations
  • UNICEF Girl's Education Initiative (UNGEI)
  • WAGGGS Delegate- Zoelisoa Rakotomanana
  • Young Women Leader, World YWCA
  • Micah Grzywnowicz, International Advocacy Advisor at RFSL

1:00 – 2:15 pm

Lunch BreakOptional Parallel Events

1.         Listen. Learn. Engage. – Tools to Help Young Activists Affect Change (Conference Room A)

2.         Eliminating Harmful Practices; Investing in Young Women And Girls. (Conference Room B)

3.         Choice for Youth & Sexuality (Conference Room C)

4.         Building Young Women Entrepreneurship Skills (Conference Room D)

5.         Body Image Confidence (Conference Room E)

6.          It’s her treat – Nordic Youth Ending Gender Stereotypes (Conference Room 11)

7. Leadership Success – Be a change maker in 6 steps (Conference Room 2)

2:30 – 4:00 pm

Plenary: Young Women as an Economic Force - Conference Room 4


  • Shruti Kapoor, Founder, Sayfty


  • Mary Kate Costello, Senior Policy Analyst, The Hunger Project
  • Professor Rao Bhavani, Director, AMMACHI Labs
  • Mengdhi Wu, Founder and CEO, Miss Locker
  • Joanna Bersin, Head of Education, Kano, Board Member, iamtheCODE
  • Noorena Shams, Aware Girls 
  • Namisha Bahl, Director of Marketing, Mogul Inc.
  • Kimberley Chambers, Marketing Manager Corporate Responsibility, Adobe
  • Swati Subodh, Co-Founder, A Million for A Billion

4:15 – 5:30pm

Thematic Sessions

1.      Why SRHR and HIV/AIDS are Central to Economic Empowerment (Conference Room A)

2.      Youth, Faith and Feminism (Conference Room 4)

3.      Refugees and Migration: Young Women in Crisis and Post-Conflict Situations. Conference Room 4)

4.      Ending Violence against Young Women and Girls (Conference Room B)

5.      Young Women and Men Challenging Inequality in times of Climate Change (Conference Room C)

6.      Young women and Mental Health (Conference Room 4)

7.      Developing Education and Skills for Young Women’s Leadership (Conference Room D)

8.      Indigenous Young Women (Conference Room E)

9.      The Voices of Young Women in Peace and Security - Applying an Age Lens to the WPS Agenda (Conference Room 11)

5:30- 6:00pm

Closing session Launch of CEDAW for Youth- Conference Room 4

– Ms Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women


-          Marie Louise Sunde, Founder, #It’sHerTreat

-          Malvika Iyer, Youth Activist

12th March 2017


Motivational Opening Speaker - Conference Room 4

-          Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to Under Secretary-General UN Women; Head @HeForShe Movement

9:30 – 11:00am

Plenary: Young Men in Gender Equality to Transform Patriarchies -Conference Room 4


  • Emma Holten, Journalist
  • Ravi Karkara, UN Women


  • Saket Mani, UN Women Planet 50/50 Champion and HeForShe Champion
  • Rasha Abouelazm, UN Women, Egypt
  • Musa Hove, Program Manager, SAfAIDS and Country Coordinator, MenEngage Alliance Zimbabwe
  • Alexander Munive, Director of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, Plan International


  • Laxman Belbase, MenEngage Alliance
  • Richard Castillo, Man Up Campaign
  • Jason Tan de Bibiana, Next Gen Men

11:10 – 12:00pm

Skills Exchange Labs 1:

1.         Digital Advocacy (Conference Room 11)

2.         Political Advocacy (Conference Room 2)

3           Political Advocacy (Conference Room 4)

4.         Film & Gender Equality (Conference Room A)

5.         Self Defense & Practice Skills for Ending VAWG (Conference Room B)

6.         #CreativeImpact: Trans and Immigrant Justice (Conference Room C)

7.         HerStory Campaign: Using Your Story to Ignite Global Change (Conference Room 4)

8.         Virtual Skills School (Conference Room D)

9.          Working with Young Men and Boys On Gender Justice and Healthy Masculinity (Conference Room 4)

10.      Using Photography for Social Justice (Conference Room E)

Skills Exchange Labs 2

1.          Digital Advocacy (Conference Room 11)

2.         Political Advocacy (Conference Room 2)

3.         Youth-Led Entrepreneurship to Achieve the SDGs (Conference Room A)

4.         Self Defense & Practice Skills for Ending VAWG (Conference Room B)

5.         #CreativeImpact: Trans and Immigrant Justice (Conference Room C)

6.         Sustainability in Fashion (Conference Room D)

7.         Learn How to Establish a UN Delegate Programme. (Conference Room 4)

8.        Using Photography for Social Justice (Conference Room E)

12:10 – 1:00pm

1:00 – 2:15 pm

Lunch Break – Informal Regional Networking

-          Conference Rooms ABCDE

2:30 – 4:00pm

Plenary:  Strengthening Inter-Generational Partnerships

-          Conference Room 4


  • Emma, Girl Advocate, Working Group on Girls
  • Lopa Banerjee, Chief, Civil Society Section, UN Women


  • Sejla Durbuzovic, Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Andreas Glossner, Vice Chair of the WEOG in the CSW Bureau, Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN
  • Nyaradzayi Gumbodzvanda, Chief Executive Officer, Rozaria Memorial Trust, AU Goodwill Ambassador to Ending Child Marriage
  • Sarah Soysa, Women Deliver Young Leader, Sri Lanka
  • Hannah Woodward, WAGGS, Australia
  • Antoinette Sendolo, World YWCA, Liberia

4:15 – 4:25pm

4:30 -6:00pm

Closing Ceremony – Conference Room 4

Performance by Working Group on Girls

  • Remarks by The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of Status of Women

Hanging Over of Youth Declaration:

  • Young Male Feminist
  • Young Indigenous Woman

Key Note Respondents:

  • H.E. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations (Invited)
  • H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil), Chair of CSW 61
  • Hon. Karen Ellemann, Minister for Equal Opportunity and Special Representative for the Danish Candidature for the UN HRC 2019-21, Denmark
  • Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women