The Global Online Hub for CSE Advocacy is launching its new initiative on the occassion of the 70th anniversery of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We will be sharing interviews with top leading youth advocates in the field of SRHR, gender equality and Sexuality Education to remind decision-makers that youth should continuie beeing at the center of all policies and programmes that concern their #Rights
Our first Youth Advocate is from Georgia and her name is Ana. Read below more about her and the amazing things she is advocating for!
Who is Ana?
I’m a youth advocate coming from Georgia, currently serving as a member of the Steering Committee at the European Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights - YouAct. I have more than 7 years of experience of working and advocating for youth empowerment, meaningful youth participation, access to information and better realization of the Sexual and Reproductive Rights for everyone.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Enthusiastic, creative and proactive
How have you become youth advocate for SRHR?
I grew up in a very small town in the east part of Georgia. Living in a small community, where gender stereotypes are widespread and access to the information is very limited, affects young people in two different ways. First, young people become passive citizens, following the outdated path without any rational judgment or even asking questions. The second case, when young people realize that if no one gives them better development opportunities, they do it by themselves! I got lucky enough to be an actor of the second case, and those actors can actually change the path for the first case, I always believed that sharing, motivating each other, support and co-working can change a lot for good.
In 2012, I attended a training for peer educators (thanks to Y-PEER network and GYDEA) and realized that my knowledge about very crucial issues such as health and well-being was extremely limited and more stressful was realizing the fact that hundreds of young people in the community have experienced the same! That was a turning point for me to encourage myself and my fellows to ACT!
Since then, I have been working on a grass root, national, regional and international levels to use all the possible platforms and to ensure that our voices are being heard.
Why SRHR are important
Because SRHR are Human Rights! Therefore, they are as important as all the other human rights. SRHR is one of the crucial parts of our health and well-being. Furthermore, it ensures reaching more tolerant, less violent, respectful and peaceful societies.
Do you think young people deserve equal access to Sexuality Education and Why?
Young people do not deserve equal access to Sexuality Education, young people must have equal access to sexuality education since it is our right!
I believe, we should become more persistent and say it loudly and clearly that we don’t want our rights to be fulfilled after years of strives and fights and proving that we are worthy enough to deserve what we actually own as a right. Therefore, every respective institution, decision-makers, and governments should feel the responsibility and ensure equal access to accurate, medically correct, youth-friendly, discrimination and stigma-free sexuality education.
If you can become a powerful decision maker at global level, what would be the things you would do and change to promote Human Rights?
Sometimes decision-makers forget to listen to people, therefore, if I were a high-level decision-maker, I would make sure to listen to people, particularly those from marginalized groups, as their voices and needs struggle to reach that high-level. Moreover, I believe every strategy, policy or a decision should imply the human rights-based approach.
What we need in order to achieve the 2030 Development Agenda and the SDGs?
States should increase their accountability for achieving the 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, the strong monitoring and evaluation systems should be also developed, and desegregated data in this regard should be available.
Everyone should realize that investing in SDGs will pay off, therefore it’a priority for now!
Your key message to the world
Decision-makers should recognize young people as one of the top priorities and fulfill their needs, particularly, when it comes to education, health, and well-being of young people!