The Commonwealth Youth Gender & Equality Network (CYGEN) is a youth-led network which actively promotes and supports the meaningful inclusion of youth voices on gender equality issues in local, national, regional, Commonwealth and international agendas.
Supported by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), who act as the network’s secretariat, CYGEN brings together young experts on a range of gender issues from across all regions of the Commonwealth. CYGEN continues to build a network of young gender experts from across the Commonwealth who can collaborate and share good practice in their work.
CYGEN seeks to improve the position of young people, and advocate for increased meaningful youth engagement and participation in existing structures, processes and governance. As a network, CYGEN also facilitates opportunities for young people to voice their concerns on gender equality issues that not only affect them, but that impact the variety of communities in which they live.
Since being launched in 2015 by the RCS on the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, CYGEN’s work has focused on five thematic areas (The Gender Five), which were identified by founding members as critical gender equality issues. These thematic areas are:
- Gender and Governance;
- Child Early and Forced Marriage;
- Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights;
- Youth Transitions in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship; and
- Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Gender Expression & Sex Characteristics (SOGIGESC).