#HIJAlalan2022: Youth groups launch campaign, 10-point electoral agenda of girls and young women

Youth groups from around the Philippines joined forces as they launched the 10-point girls’ electoral agenda covering the most pressing issues concerning children, girls, and young women in the country.

During the February 24 public launch of the youth-led campaign HIJAlalan 2022: Tungo sa Pamahalaang Makabata’t Makababae, leaders from various youth organizations presented the 10-point girls’ electoral agenda, which was the product of the series of regional consultations conducted from January to early February this year. Crafted by 35 youth-led organizations and over 240 children and youth, the said electoral agenda aims to ensure that the rights and needs of children, girls, and young women will be at the forefront of politicians’ general plan of action.

Christine, from the Girls Get Equal Campaign calls on everyone, “Itaas natin ang mga diskusyon tungkol sa karapatan ng mga batang babae sa lipunan. Hindi kami nabibigyan ng sapat na plataporma para ibahagi ang aming mga karanasan at opinyon. Kausapin natin ang mga batang babae sa ating mga bahay at komunidad. Pakinggan natin ang kanilang mga kwento’t karanasan sa pang-araw-araw na buhay. (Let’s raise the discussion on girls’ rights. We (girls) are not given enough platforms to speak about our experiences and opinions. Let’s listen to the girls in our communities. Let’s hear their stories.)”

The girls and young women’s electoral agenda covers issues on adequate standard of living, safe spaces, universal and holistic healthcare, sexual and reproductive health and rights, quality education, political education and participation, and territorial justice. Below are the demands of the youth under the 10-point electoral agenda of girls and young women:

  1. Institute comprehensive, age-appropriate, and culture-sensitive sexual and reproductive health education for all sexes and genders into the basic education curriculum.
  2. Provide access to decent jobs and livelihood opportunities for all, especially for women, teenage parents, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and recent graduates facing new employment challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Improve disaster response by establishing safe, livable evacuation spaces in communities and providing evacuees’ basic needs such as clean water, food, and personal hygiene kits.
  4. Improve access to professional services, medicines, and facilities to address Filipinos’ physical, sexual, reproductive, mental, and emotional health needs, especially in rural areas.
  5. Enhance family planning and parenthood education in communities and increase access to free contraceptives to address teenage pregnancy and rapid population growth.
  6. Update laws and strengthen programs for preventing, detecting, reporting, and responding to all forms of domestic abuse and violence.
  7. Protect public and digital spaces from all forms of sex and gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination.
  8. Combat child labor and all forms of human exploitation.
  9. Improve access to quality education, especially in remote rural communities.
  10. Keep elections peaceful and protect its legitimacy by preventing all forms of electoral fraud, including the exploitation of young people forced to pose as voters.

Shaina, of the Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) Youth, posed the question for electorates and candidates, “Kung hindi namin iraraise ngayon itong mga issue na to on girls’ rights, kailan pa? Hanggang kailan kami mananahimik nalang habang hindi binibigyang pansin ang mga karapatan ng mga kabataan at mga batang babae?(If now is not the time for us to raise these issues on girls’ rights, then when? How long should we remain silent while children and girls’ rights are ignored?)

Through #HIJAlalan2022, the Filipino youth will continuously work hand in hand in urging Philippines’ future leaders to prioritize the integration of children, girls, and young women’s leadership, freedom, and representation in the country’s national and local policy, program, and budget.

HIJAlalan 2022 is a joint endeavor of the widest youth-led organizations and movements in the Philippines: Center for Youth Advocacy and Networking (CYAN), Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK) Youth, Plan International Philippines’ Girls Get Equal campaign, Youth Reporters, SheDecides Philippines, Y-PEER Pilipinas, and 35 other youth-led organizations in the country.

Watch the #HIJAlalan2022 launch here:  https://bit.ly/3vddSxh

For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/HIJAlalan2022