The World Youth Alliance supports the work of the Commission on the Status of Women and its efforts to promote and empower women and girl children. The World Youth Alliance recognizes that all persons have an intrinsic dignity; it is this dignity that provides the basis for all human rights. All persons are equal in dignity regardless of sex, race, culture or creed and this equality demands equal participation in the development process including full and equal access to education. Equal access to education for women and girls is the only proper response to their dignity as persons.
Through education, women are empowered with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the whole development process. Education, including training and access to science and technology are increasingly urgent in a world of economic and technological changes. Education not only empowers women emotionally and socially, but can also contribute to their economic empowerment, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and other national and international development goals.
The World Youth Alliance recognizes education is a foundational element of development. The goal of education must be to help people recognize their dignity and the dignity of others and equip them with the necessary tools to exercise their potential. Understanding and exercising one’s own potential is authentic empowerment, and is essential to the sustainable development of society. When every member of a population is aware of how their education contributes to development, they will be able to fulfill their responsibility in society.
Interrelated issues of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment all effect women’s access to education and are compounded by discrimination. It is necessary for individuals, society, governments, and institutions to work in solidarity to foster the adequate conditions such as freedom, peace, and equality that lead equal access to education for women and girls. Women’s equal access to education is not only critical to achieving poverty eradication and authentic, sustainable development, but more importantly is fitting to their dignity as persons. The World Youth Alliance recognizes that human dignity is the only foundation on which appropriate and holistic programs and policies can be developed.
WYA Declaration on Women
New York, USA
Who is woman? Daughter, mother, wife, patriot, policy-maker, sister, thinker, worker? The challenge of this changing world asks this question and every woman is called upon to answer.
We young people of different nations, cultures, religions, ethnicities believe that every person is endowed with intrinsic and inalienable dignity that begins at conception and extends to natural death. This dignity is inviolable and does not change regardless of the circumstances of one’s life. It is the basis for human rights.
We believe that the freedom of the human person is most fully and rightly lived in the gift of ourselves to others. In the act of self-gift, the human person answers the question, “Who am I?” through the experience of love. Equal in dignity, and in a way that is complementary to man, woman is unique in her capacity for love and so can experience freedom in a radical way through her gift of self.
In motherhood, which is a continual invitation to self-gift, woman develops society through the transmission of life.
Woman recalls to humankind its humanity in a profound recognition of the dignity of each person. Woman is the architect of authentic peace from the most basic cell of society to the highest levels of policy and decision making, constructing conditions in which persons are given the chance to live in accordance with their dignity.
The talents of woman foster and preserve the beauty of each culture. When woman exercises a key role in building, designing and protecting societies, her participation enriches and sustains the culture for herself, her family and community and for all generations to follow.
Through her gift of self, every aspect of woman’s life is enriched and transformed and society in turn is transformed on every level.