Over thirty teenagers and young adults participated in the workshops and discussions under the aegis of the “Youth Voices for Equality” event, which took place within the framework of the centenary marking the introduction of the universal right to vote in Luxembourg, shortly before the European elections scheduled in May. Voix de Jeunes Femmes and CID | Fraen an Gender organised the half-day event on 27 April at the Forum Geesseknäppchen, with the aim of giving young people a voice so that their opinions concerning gender equality and Europe may be heard. Within this context, we were able to count on the valuable support of four further organisations, including the Lycée Aline Mayrisch and Radio ARA (the graffiti youth broadcast).
The following workshops were scheduled:
The young participants were able to exchange opinions and discuss these matters during the workshops. Not only was their great interest in the various issues clearly visible, but their participation also revealed their wish to take action against sexism and other forms of discrimination. Many of the attendees expressed their dismay at the fact that problems such as sexist advertising or the high level of underrepresentation of women and minorities in decision-making positions should still be a reality today.
The list of issues and ideas that were the object of these young adults’ discussions was as follows:
While the above issues and statements reveal obvious options for action, the participants made the following concrete political demands:
All the participants expressed the opinion that gender equality has not yet been achieved. They focused on the many facets and levels of sexism and gender inequality, and practically intuitively, they listed nearly all the important issues raised in the current international debates around gender equality. Teenagers and young adults are not only well-informed, they also demonstrate great interest in public life. Politics are seen as central to pushing for positive change. The role of education is also viewed as being fundamentally important. Finally, the media and the economy are considered to bear their share of responsibility in the push towards gender equality.
During the discussions, it became clear that young people have an acute and critical understanding of social and political relations – and most especially, that they are the experts concerning their own circumstances.
CID and Voix de Jeunes Femmes, the organisers, wish to urge you, as political decision-makers influencing public opinion, to actively promote the political participation of young people and get them involved in political decision-making processes. Moreover, we wish to remind you that issues relating to gender equality remain as important as ever to achieve successful coexistence in society – even beyond Europe’s borders. This has in part been proven by the wide range of subjects raised by the participants at this event.
Gender equality and equal opportunities must be seen as a cross-cutting political priority and must be taken seriously.
 You can listen to the show (lasting just under thirty minutes) on the “Youth Voices for Equality” event via this link: http://podcast.ara.lu/blog/2019/05/03/young_voices_for_equality/
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