The Economic and Social Empowerment of Youth:
Tackling Poverty and Marginalization, and Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals
As a result of recent economic and social developments, particularly in Eastern part of India, Indian Assembly of Youth (IAY) an international development non-governmental organization that links youth with employment and economic opportunities- has maximized its efforts to safeguard youth against extremist ideologies through economic and social empowerment. IAY has also decided to increasingly contribute to programmes that focus on conflict, extremism and poverty.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere. IAY supports microenterprises by focusing on the most vulnerable groups among youth through the provision of loans, loan guarantees and training, and by facilitating employment opportunities and bridging the gap between academic and work life through several programmes aligned with the needs of youth.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. IAY’s programmes target male and female youth without discrimination, in addition to tailoring some projects to empower women in particular.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. IAY consistently implements new and innovative tools and programmes to empower youth through career guidance and vocational training for direct employment. The organization also works to support income-generating activities by collaborating with financial and microenterprise institutions. Its enterprise development programme includes the provision of loan, as well as training entrepreneurs and building their capabilities through initiatives developed in collaboration with other national / international partners.
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development: IAY works through international, regional and local partners, ranging from the private sector, donor organizations, governments, civil society and academia to develop comprehensive programmes aimed at the economic empowerment of youth. These programmes are implemented at the local level to sustain performance, transfer expertise and develop competencies.
FIRST PRIORITY: Engagement, Participation and Advocacy-Amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
THIRD PRIORITY: Economic Empowerment through Decent Work- Support young people’s greater access to decent work and productive employment.
FIFTH PRIORITY: Peace and Resilience Building-Support young people as catalysts for Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action.
In addition to economic empowerment, Indian Assembly of Youth works to advance social empowerment, impacting the communities in which it operates. The organization believes in the importance of youth civic engagement and the policymaking process, as they are the driving forces for development.
Empowerment of Women and Girl:
Economic and social empowerment puts women and girls in a stronger position and gives them the agency to make decisions that promote their own health and wellbeing, as well as that of their families. We believe that social and economic empowerment is a key factor to improving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls. It enhances their ability to have a voice in decision making processes like marriage and pregnancy.
It also enables women and girls to ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services respond to their needs. For example, as their needs differ from those of men, it is important that they have a voice with regards to household expenditure on WASH. The reverse is also true: realising women’s and girls’ rights to SRHR and water and sanitation increases their ability to achieve their own social and economic empowerment.
Economic Empowerment: a voice on financial independence:
Economic empowerment means that women have the skills and resources to improve their economic status and move out of poverty. In addition, it means that women and girls can decide on how to utilise their income and other resources and/or jointly make those decisions.
An important aspect of social empowerment is to address prevailing gender norms and roles, in order to improve women’s and girl’s participation and position in civil, economic and social spheres. By engaging communities in dialogues, we create space to discuss and tackle limiting social and cultural norms.
This also involves public and private service providers, as access to WASH and SRHR services is often restricted by entrenched social and cultural norms. In addition, our programmes work with women and girls to build their knowledge, skills and social networks and work with existing community structures to include them in decision making processes.