On August 11, the “My Future is Now” Project hosted a Youth Forum to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The Forum was conceived as a space for discussion in which young people and representatives of youth organizations could raise problems, challenges, solutions and initiatives, around the following topics: poverty and social protection, training, technical and professional skills, gender equality and recognition of care work, decent work and reduction of inequality through social protection.
In addition to the participation of young people from social organizations and civil society, Washington Quinchuela, Director of Youth of the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (MIES) and Miguel Muñoz Manager of the Youth Employment Project of the Ministry of Labor also participated. Both were invited to attend the Forum on behalf of the Government to listen to the concerns and proposals made by young people.
During their interventions, young people referred to job insecurity and teleworking as some of the most pressing issues that have arisen due to the pandemic. In regards to the latter, the participants mentioned that these new work arrangements make workers’ performance invisible to employers and that there is a lack of limits on the workload. Similarly, the disconnection of the educational system in the face of the demands of the labor market, as well as the few opportunities for access to quality education for young people were also mentioned. Regarding gender issues, the young guests made reference to the fact that after the pandemic, the overload of home care work for women has intensified and wage inequalities have widened.