Peace, financial dynamism, social equity, resistance all this and more, nowadays and tomorrow, depends on tapping into the power of youth and this can be possible when they are provided safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their different needs and interface , take part in decision making process and openly express themselves.
Safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.
There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world the largest youth population ever. If there is one thing that Pakistan has in abundance, it is young people. According to the UNDP, Pakistan is 2nd youngest South Asian nation having more than 64 percent young population under 29 years of age.
Political insecurity, work market challenges and constrained space for political and civic participation have driven youth to getting to be progressively more separated, raising the requirement for more safe spaces where they can meet, engage and express themselves.
It’s an essential right for each person to have its own fundamental safe space and by this term I implied to say a place where no ethnic, religious, social, cultural boundaries might hold a person’s self advancement aptitudes, hurt his self-confidence, make him feel left out.
We have so much ability covered up in us but the self-created boundaries from our so called society to us are the only obstacle in accomplishing them. And without overcoming all of them we ought to not and might not call ourselves empowered.
SAHIBA IRFAN KHAN,
Lahore, October 2.