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UNFPA Representative in Egypt Frederika Meijer participated in a plenary session at the World Youth Forum titled “Towards a Safe and Inclusive World for Women” on January 11.

The session brought together President of the National Council for Women Dr. Maya Morsi, UN Women Representative in Egypt Christine Arab, UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Gender Specialist Julie Diallo, and Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Minata Samate, among other speakers.

Speakers discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, including increasing the risk of domestic violence, noting the need for mechanisms to combat violence against women.

“Women and young people need to be at the policy table for a more inclusive response to crises,” Mejier said.

The World Youth Forum is provides an annual platform for young people to engage with top policymakers, and brings together heads of states and governments, international young leaders, and prominent international figures. The world Youth Forum was launched by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2017.

The forum also saw the launch of a local version of the United Nations' initiative “Generation Unlimited” under the name “Shabab Balad,” making Egypt the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to launch the international platform.

In Egypt, Generation Unlimited will support the country’s 2030 national development vision, aligning education and training with the labor market and entrepreneurship prospects. 

UNFPA aims to play a major role in supporting the initiative, with particular attention to adolescent girls and young women.

Through UNFPA’s work on gender equality and changing social norms, it aims to empower women to join the labor force.

Launched at the 2018 United Nations General Assembly, Generation Unlimited (GenU) is the world’s first Public-Private-Youth Partnership (PPYP) and is on a mission to skill and connect all of the world’s young people aged 10-24 to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and social impact by 2030.