The objectives of the December 2007 YSAWID dialogue are to:

  • Provide a safe space for young women to dialogue, network and share ideas on a broad range of issues
  • Build the capacity of young women to deal with personal and economic challenges
  • Promote economic entrepreneurship amongst young women and mainstreaming the economic participation of young women
  • Empower women to mobilize for the implementation of economic and social policies designed to redress historical inequalities
  • Identify best practices and endorse programme propositions for local-level implementation of actions recommended by the dialogue
  • Draw strategic lessons from international and continental instruments like CEDAW, YMDG, AU, NEPAD etc. for implementation at local level
  • Forge partnerships for post-conference development and implementation
  • The key challenges that young women continue to face include poverty, unwanted pregnancy, sexual harassment, violence against women, AIDS, a high school drop-out rate, high unemployment, and an increase in alcohol and drug abuse among young people.

The conference will bring together young South African women, leaders in their communities, between the ages of 18 and 35, from the nine provinces, in all their diversity, including unemployed women, young women in civil society and the private sector, young entrepreneurs, young women from rural and urban areas, students, working women, young women with disabilities, young women in places of safety, women from different political parties and different religious backgrounds. This inclusive group will further include all languages and ethnic groups.

The expected outcomes of this very important forum are:

  • An implementable action plan to empower young women, cascaded down to local level
  • The identification of one common issue that will improve the quality of young women’s lives, around which they can mobilize and advocate.
  • A social contract with participants, forming effective focal groups at local level which can act as stepping stone for the activities of young women in the provinces.
  • A pledge on effective partnerships on issues that will advance the agenda of young women.