15,000 young people promote peace in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan / Freedom for Peace / 19 sep 2017
We are all too aware of the negative impacts that teenage peer-pressure can have. But in Kyrgyzstan, teens are educating each other about violence against women and girls – with astonishing results. Some 15,000 young people have been trained as ‘agents of change’ by UN Women’s ‘Building A Constituency for Peace’ programme. They are aged between 14 and 17, and two-thirds of them are girls. They lead education sessions with their peers in almost 100 schools, engage with local authorities to hold them accountable to implementing existing laws to protect women and girls, and partners with civil society organisations to steer local peace-building initiatives.
The ‘My Safe and Peaceful School’ course teaches adolescents about youth empowerment and responsible citizenship by offering training in team-building and advocacy, as well as human rights and gender equality. The teens then spread these messages through their networks.
Results recorded so far include healthier relationships, delayed pregnancy and less community disruption. ‘With UN Women’s help, I have gained knowledge of human rights and entrepreneurship skills’, says Diana Ruslan Kyzy, one teenage girl trained in the programme. ‘We have learnt to build teams of girls and boys with different views, ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs. Today we work together to tackle problems such as early marriage, bride kidnapping and domestic violence, and teach respect for diversity in our communities.’