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Youth as agents of cultural change

Nov 14, 2008

UNFPA’s latest publication: State of the World Population Report 2008 argues that culturally sensitive approaches are critical for the realisation of human rights and gender equality. The report’s Youth Supplement showcases the role of young people in thus meeting new challenges.

State of the World Population Report 2008: Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender and Human Rights

Publisher: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2008

The report says it is crucial to incorporate culture into development policy and programming, especially in sensitive areas like sexual and reproductive health. It  points out that bringing a cultural lens to bear on human rights helps all levels of society and all communities and groups to make human rights principles their own, making them part of their value system.

UNFPA report 2008

The report gives an overview of the conceptual frameworks as well as the practice of development, looking at the everyday events that make up people’s experience of development. Culturally sensitive approaches call for cultural fluency – familiarity with how cultures work, and how to work with them.

Population issues come down to decisions people make in specific cultural contexts, for example, about family planning, education, health care and migration. Poorer women in particular are bound by harmful aspects of tradition and culture, with higher risks of maternal death, illness and injury.

The report presents some of the challenges and dilemmas of culturally sensitive strategies and suggests how partnerships can address them.

Generation of Change: Young People and Culture

This is the third edition of the Youth Supplement to UNFPA’s State of the World Population Report and focuses on the interactions among culture, gender, and human rights and the critical importance of culturally sensitive approaches for effective development policies and programmes.

UNFPA Youth Supplement

 The Millennium Development Goals and the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development emerged from local and personal experience. They will be fully achieved when their human rights basis is well integrated locally and when change comes from within the communities themselves.

The Youth Supplement demonstrates through young people’s own stories how they influence change within their own cultures, championing human rights, gender equality and development.

Source : UNFPA
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