Breaking Barriers: AGYW Flourishing in Leadership


In 2020, UNICEF convened young women to write the flourish toolbox: to pursue gender justice in health and well-being for girls and young women. It includes information and resources that we, as young women and girls, can use to strengthen our advocacy and target our service provision across multiple domains of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, including HIV prevention and treatment, human rights, and sexual and reproductive health.

There are approximately 880 million adolescent girls and young women aged 15–24 years globally. Despite making up 12% of the world’s population, this population is often left without a voice or control of their own bodies. Girls continue to bear the burden and face challenges like gender-based violence, limited or no access to health education and care, coupled with systems and policies that do not address the needs of young people.,These obstacles continue to disadvantage and block adolescent girls and young women from being able to participate IN processes that guide policies made around their bodies, lives, and leadership potential. Furthermore, these continue to estrange girls and hinder protection from HIV and other related SRHR challenges.,

Adolescent girls and young women can best exploit their untapped potential when they are provided with the resources they need such as education on leadership opportunities, and the right skills to exercise their leadership techniques. Adolescent Girls and Young Women hold the key to unlocking many of the world’s most pressing problems: reducing poverty, advancing gender equity, catalyzing countries’ social and economic development, halting the spread of HIV, reducing maternal mortality, and ending violence against women, among many others. As educated mothers, they will invest in the next generation. As leaders of today and tomorrow, they can be a force for social change.

Hazel Jojo, Nerve Centre, Zimbabwe: There is a need to put women as part of the solution rather than part of the problems. I am proud of what HER Voice Fund is doing, which is putting girls at the forefront at all levels.

The FLOURISH Toolbox was launched on 8th March 2022 in commemoration of the #IWD2022. The Toolbox is a collection of programming, advocacy, leadership, and mentorship resources and information that inform the collective action of emerging girls and young women pursuing leadership and gender justice in health. Making significant progress requires increasing and supporting their opportunities to shape policies related to the health and rights of themselves, their peers, and their communities.

Furthermore, the toolbox aims to build a strong community of adolescent girls and young women leaders empowering and supporting each other to promote real and sustainable change. All local and global development partners should recognize and respond to the fact that such investments are essential for real change in all aspects of gender justice.

The creation of the toolbox was through a partnership of the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global)’s HER Voice Fund, Positive Young Women Voices (PYWV), and the African Youth and Adolescents Network (AfriYAN), with support and guidance from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Education Initiative Nerve Center. It was written and has been inspired by young women leaders all over the world.

Helena Nangombe: Accessing resources for youth-led organizations has been a challenge, especially for grassroots organizations. We hope experienced organizations adopt the practice of sub granting youth-led organizations to support them attain the capacity to handle bigger funding.

The FLOURISH toolbox launch live session was attended by 175 young women leaders from different backgrounds. up to date, 224 people have viewed the launch on the Y+ facebook page224 views.

Lucy: An interactive dialogue with current women leaders on how best leadership and advocacy resources can be strengthened to maximize benefits for young leaders.
In case you missed the official launch, we still got you covered via our Facebook stream:

Feel free to download a copy of the FLOURISH Toolbox by following the link below;