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#YouthToo - High school students speak out for Youth Week

#YouthToo - Auckland high school students to speak out on #MeToo for Youth Week

Shakti Youth is hosting a new generation of youth from migrant and refugee backgrounds who will come together for Youth Week 2018 to share fresh perspectives on the #MeToo movement and feminism on the 26th of May. Young people are at the highest risk of sexual assault out of any other age group. An estimated 1 in 3 girls will experience sexual abuse before the age of 16 years old, and the 16-24 age group are statisticallyfour times more likely to experience sexual assault than any other age group.

The students will be coming together from high schools across Auckland to address how culture, identity and feminism are important in ending gender violence and racial discrimination. The theme of Youth Week this year is “Be Who You Want to Be.”

Amongst the guest speakers supporting this event will be MP Jan Logie, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice for domestic and sexual violence, and MP for Manurewa, Louisa Wall.

“Common conversations around feminism are usually centred around broad experiences such as sexual harassment at work, cat-calling or victim-blaming or pay equity. But for some migrant and refugee background youth, these issues can look like not being allowed to go out with friends, being racially fetishised or being forced to marry,“ says Emma Cho, Auckland Youth Coordinator for Shakti.

“Some people might think forced marriage doesn’t exist in Aotearoa/New Zealand, but our caseworkers say otherwise. We have supported youth as young as 14-year-olds who have been forced into marriages and experienced repeated sexual assault. We want the whole community to be on board on ending forced marriage as an inherent part of ending rape culture. Both are issues of consent,” she says.

“This panel is a space for youth to be heard, for migrant young women who are so often silenced to share their perspectives on consent, feminism and how it intersects with their culture and identity,” she continues.

#YouthToo: a conversation on culture, identity and feminism will include a panel discussion of high school students from across Auckland as well as spoken word, dance and music performances from local youth on the 26th of May, 4:30pm at University of Auckland General Library, B15. This event is possible thanks to funding from Ara Taiohi.


Shakti Youth is an organisation of Asian, Middle Eastern and African youth working towards a future without violence and discrimination.

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