PEP has worked for the past 13 years to bring the voices of young women to the center of conversations about reproductive health and rights. We know that young people are the future leaders of the reproductive justice movement and that they must be present when decisions are made about their bodies.
Young women are not the only ones who are disproportionately affected by gender injustice and reproductive oppression. Transgender and gender non-conforming young people face many of the same challenges to their reproductive health and sexual autonomy that young women face. Like young women, their voices and leadership are often missing from conversations about their reproductive health and rights. In addition, there is little information on the perspectives, needs or concerns of these communities, and few positive portrayals of them as sexual beings in mainstream movements.
Initiated by our Young Women's Leadership Council and with the support of key stakeholders, PEP has expanded our mission to include transgender and gender non-conforming young people as part of our constituency. We see their struggles for reproductive justice as parallel to those of young women and requiring the same shifting of power to ensure that people have the resources necessary to lead healthy lives.
Through our Young Women's Leadership Council and Intern Program, we ensure that the interests and voices of young people are reflected in all of PEP's activities, including our research initiatives, messaging campaigns and movement building strategies. PEP's interns, in collaboration with the YWLC, guide the majority of our program work and represent PEP at national movement conferences. You can learn more about the YWLC here.
We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to fight for the issues that most affect her life. By elevating young people as leaders, we make sure that issues like sex education, HIV/AIDS, and access to adequate health care for minors are taken seriously in policy discussions and other decision-making tables. To learn more about internship opportunities and youth leadership development in the reproductive justice movement, check out PEP's internship guide.