Implementation of SDGs through Innovation and Collaboration

By Linda DePaolis

With recent political circumstance and the upcoming presidential election, the issue of women's rights has been on the forefront now more than ever. Recent debates have sparked among women regarding the best approach to advocate for all women in a substantive and collective way. Since women only hold just one percent of the world's wealth, it is important for young women, specifically, to take initiatives to continue the fight for global gender equality.

Gender equality has always been an integral issue domestically and abroad. With the nefarious gender pay gap still strikingly prevalent, it is our job as young people to break the ceiling nationally and globally. As young people, we can make a huge difference by simply reminding our peers of how gargantuan the gap between male and female representation, education, and pay distribution really is. Initiating projects for young girls and women to gain the confidence and resources they need to be competitive assets in the workforce or school would be a probable secondary step. We need to realize that there are no limits to how much we can expand our resolution plans, and that we need to work together, and not divide, to obtain a common ground of objectives needed to be reached. To achieve change on a global scale, we must first start small by empowering each other and incrementally expanding our plans for any global development goal.

With over fifty percent of the world's population under thirty years old, the power of real global change rests in the hands of the youth and it is our job to make the most of this huge and empowering responsibility. In the current digital age, the ability of young people to become involved and spread positive messages is right at our fingertips. Members of Generation Y have become exposed to a vast array of technology that previous generations were not exposed to. Social media is just one unequivocal medium for change that young people can utilize. A few examples of successful social media revolutions for change include the "Yes All Women" movement, "Bell Let's Talk", and "Bring Back Our Girls". These movements exemplify the power young people have to initiate a global movement with just one innovative hashtag. We can continue to start these movements and expand upon global change by advocating for it publicly, whether it be through statuses, pictures, or videos that we post, we can make others more aware of what is going on in the world.

The Youth Assembly at the United Nations and the Global Resolution Project are exemplary of the collaborative nature young people need to reach goals for sustainable growth development. Both of these unique opportunities provide platforms for young people to come together and propose constructive ideas and plans to combat pending global issues as a team. This year will be the first time I have ever participated in the Youth Assembly and the Global Resolution Project and to say I am excited would be an understatement. After weeks of planning, I have compiled all the information and details of my resolution venture for a nonprofit organization entitled, "The Global Feminist Organization". My proposal's main objective is to provide young women in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania with the education and resources they deserve. While it costs almost eight thousand dollars per year to educate one high school student in the United States, it only costs six hundred and fifty dollars to educate one high school student in Ghana, Uganda, or Tanzania. My resolution venture plans to raise revenues through women's empowerment discussion forums and events, which will also, in turn, help young women reflect on their strengths and potential. Gender equality is an extremely important issue to me and I am motivated and ecstatic that I will have the opportunity to voice my ideas and work with others at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations.

Young people play an integral role in reaching sustainable resolution developments to global issues. With over fifty percent of the world's population under thirty, many do not realize the impact and power young people have to generate positive change. We possess the passion, innovation, and will that is required to achieve change on a broad scale. If we come together and fearlessly fight for reform, we will ultimately cultivate global change as the future of the world rests in our hands.

Linda DePaolis is currently a freshman studying Economics at Cornell University. She is a strong advocate for global gender equality and initiated "The Global Feminist Organization" to provide young women in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania with an education.

This post is a part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in partnership with Friendship Ambassadors Foundation following the 2016 Youth Assembly at the United Nations held on February 17-18, 2016. The winter session tackled the role of youth in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To see all posts in the series, click here.