Politics is one of the key elements that is essential in influencing and shaping the world as it is the governing factor that has decisional and executive powers. In our modern times, there is an undeniable growth of the interest of the youth towards politics. Political groups are encouraged to adapt to the ever-growing influence of the youth in terms of voting power and the inherent capacity to spawn new leaders who have the best interest of the people and the growth of the community.
Political ideologies are now changed and updated in order to be more appalling to the youth as they are now an immutable voice of the majority of the population. A great number of the population, which are the young people, are actually becoming more engaged in local community campaigns and other political activities. The youth can change the world through politics by actively pursuing it through their expression and by giving meaning to the dynamics of their cause.
They can influence the world through politics by being substantially and consciously present in their everyday lives in areas that involve not only political parties but beyond. More and more ideas are generated by the youth and they are responsible in choosing which cultural beliefs are going to work for the benefit of humanity and which of those belief systems are detrimental. Especially now in the age of information, knowledge has always played a big role in the course of human history as it is a key factor that influences the political arena.
However, the internet and the mass media are not the only avenues for the youth to express their opinions that involve politics. By collectively assuming responsibility, the youth can be the catalyst of the change they want to achieve. Through this, advocating different topics become an avenue for the entire population to gain new awareness and opportunities that would make the world a better place.
The political powers in the world can create new policies, systems, and cultures that will make the youth engage the political world in an active manner. Noticeable leaders that are from the young population occasionally arise and they put the world in awe and wonder with their charisma, skill, knowledge, and dedication that resonate with their cause. The youth can run for office and be the ones directly in charge for the rules, regulations, and policies that will be beneficial for the society.
Political parties and governments need to define their values - what do they stand for and why? This will help young people identify with parties and ideology of interest for their pursuance. Support young people with sholarships for study, in areas such as political science.
What can be done to support young MPs in their parliamentary career? Please share any initiatives you are aware of. Empowerment with well researched topics and facts, enough evidence on key policy issues, and how to position these issues is critical for representation. Parliament research departments need to be strengthened to deliver on their role. Exposure to national and global issues. Engage them in dialogue such so that they can follow up on international commitments and domestication according to national policies and guidelines.
Are youth more likely to be active in combatting discrimination and gender based violence? This should then inform when, how and where to advance for rights with support of fellow women and the men. Youth have grown up in an environment that advocates for combatting discrimination and gender based violence and thus should be more responsive and accomodative to advancing the respective areas.
How can we best measure youth political participation and policy influence? These should be clearly documented with the results achieved. Policy briefs to provide information on key issues and how they can influence at what level and when appropriate. For example budgets cannot be influenced when they have been passed. For the past 15 years civic education has been cancelled in the majority of curricula. The other reason is that politicians all over the world have been doing a poor job to ensure that every citizen gets a minimum standard of living and are the reflection of what greed is.
Therefore, they distanced themselves from this corrupted arena. Youth and policy-making in parliaments Networks of young MPs, as well as caucuses that promote youth issues in public policy, are present in a small but growing number of parliaments. Other strategies to engage young people in parliaments Youth parliaments exist in half the countries surveyed. Some have formal ties to the national parliament but most are coordinated by non-governmental organizations, government ministries, schools or other local authorities.
In Uganda young people are encouraged to participate in politics through the policy that calls for regional representation. All the 4 regions of Uganda have to elect a youth representative and one national female youth bringing the total to 5. Currently there are 2 female youth MPs and 3 males.
The youth MPs also have a Uganda Youth Parliamentary Forum where they meet and discuss peculiar issues affecting youths and also come up with strategies to address them in the legislative process. A lot of capacity building for the youth MPs is also done through this forum by civil society organizations and also development partners. UN Women and other development partners support mentoring programs for young people specifically to enhance their skills in leadership and understanding of politics and importance of youth participation.
Factors contributing to the above are:. An environment with:. Are youth more likely to be active in combating discrimination and gender based violence? Low inclusiveness of youth in activities revolving around them. Insignificant provisions for inclusion at all stages of political manifestos.
Not recognising that practice makes perfect. Informal group learning settings and real time activities around real situations. A long term agenda that grooms them for future roles in politics. This would give required exposure and quality experience to acquire necessary skills because every individual within any given community, is politically oriented and affected.
Parliaments can set up Outreach Agendas like the U. These is run by the Houses of Parliament targeted at youth in general to encourage them, to let them know that their voice can also be heard, to give them a chance to come in and have a say.
That's only a beginning because I await the day when we would have youth delegates sitting in Parliaments and having a say in current affairs. Social Media is the order of the day and this has its negative and positive sides. It'll be innovative and ultimately effective to have regional youth representations virtually real time.
Instead of having explosive reactions to the feeling of being pushed aside or muted. How can we support more young people who would be interested in channelling their activism through formal political institutions? Organise events and effectuate raised action points. Organise and partly sponsor selected youth representatives who demonstrate the flair for progressive value adding political ethos.
Scholarships, opportunities and grants could serve as incentive. Organised mock Parliamentary sittings to develop the skills and flair over time so by the time they are making informed decisions. Young MPs need retreats yearly where they all go away initially as individuals then as a group where the away days would be self reflections and group reflections on how to approach issues differently.
The more often this is done as Practitioners, the better their performances as individuals or as teams. Gender equality should be a subject in schools just as religion, history or civic studies, science etc. Creating a political terrain or advocacy for an institution for young women in politics. Have a biannual program for women in politics, where women can access extra Career Development opportunities. Evaluation youth in these aspects remains reliant on opportunities given them.
Given a voice and effective inclusion, we carry out analysis of what worked and what could be done differently, then reassess for reimplementation at Enhanced levels. Influencing Policies could be measured by sound comparisons of how it was before changes against goals achieved e.
Question No. Low participation of youth in parliamentary activities stems from the fact that adult participation have continued to over shadow the youths involvement in political activities. The idea is that the adult group age group are not well catered for and no provision is made for them in the constitution of some of the countries especially within the developing countries hence despite their age they continue to jostle for political position to avoid laxity and redundancy.
It is assumed that the reason behind this ignominious behaviour is that no adequate arrangement is made by the government to cater for the elderly in the society and they have no choice than to struggle for political position where there is no age limit.
Another major issue is that the adult class is insatiable with wealth because you imagine a former mayor leaving office after eight years still jostling for political position instead of sponsoring youth around him because they have the believe that the only place good money can be made without genuine struggle is in politics. They maintain that they are more knowledgeable than the youths: and believes that their opinions is still viable than the youth without the inkling that some of them has a loose education- a system where people are said to be educated based on their informal participation in social activities without attending the four walls of educational system.
Hence they get to the point of forgery of certificates to false age declaration just to be accommodated within the political class. Therefore, attaching themselves to a prominent political figure takes them up the ladder of leadership position without a formal knowledge of what parliamentary obligations are. Question 2. On the issue of young women participation in politics, the negative approach here is the societal belief that a young woman needs is to first tend the home before getting involved in public activities.
Women who are in their child bearing age are discouraged to be active in politics because of the dangers inherent in it. They are the vulnerable members of the society and any act of violent will impede their performance because they will first remember their children and for fear of losing their lives and abandoning the children they will forever shield away from political activities.
Question 3. What can parliaments, governments, political parties and civil society do to increase young women and men representation in politics. The best attitude towards achieving active participation of young women and young men in politics is to go back to the drawing board, where the adult members of the society will leave the scene and encourage youth participation. They should act as a backbone to structure the youths and make them function appropriately in the political arena.
But before this can be achieved, the upkeep of the adult group should be enshrined in the constitution and be part of the national development plan. For instance in some countries some of the package for adult age group is only meant for serving heads of state or retired members who have worked in the public service, what about those who have not had any form of work with either the government or in the political field?
If there is provision made for such people to mortgage their future and some who had since used politics as a money making venture will shelve the idea. However, the youth that are to be involved has to get quality education and training to understand that politics and political affairs is not a money making venture: but an avenue to serve the public for the public interest and that any legislation to be made will first address the needs and satisfaction of the public whom they are representing and not self or individual interest.
They should be accountable for their actions when in service and to always return to their communities to seek for their opinions before taking a decision in whatever parliamentary level they are in either the House of Representative or in the Senate. They should be resemblance as serious agents for positive social change before they are voted in.
Take for example the case of a particular state in Nigeria my country, Akwa Ibom state, at a time a governor who is a youth and a vibrant lawyer was elected, his activity centred on liberating his people from the servitude of poverty by making the state and its local government a place to be through the provision of infrastructural facilities and good road network. The result was that all its youths that have migrated to the urban cities in search of greener pastures started coming home to invest in one business venture or the other.
As he was leaving office, he also made sure that his predecessor is also a youth like him who has been a technocrat in the banking sector. He took up the mantle of leadership based on his accountability proficiency and because he is not vast in politics, he has an adult senior politician as a backbone hence in my opinion they are carrying the flag and making sure it is flying based on the aspiration of the other governor.
If this becomes the routine in governance adults participation in politics will gradually erode and give room for youth participation. Question 4. What are some of the most innovative alternative methods marches, sit-ins. Youth participation in politics is increasingly been the focus of advocacy in issues pertaining politics, and some of the view is that the opportunity to express themselves should be the first avenue for increased youth participation in politics.
The youth having access to social media platform is another means for expressing their political interest though sometimes this is abused but recently the outcome of responses from youths to some political decisions by the adults in leadership positions have revealed critical thinking and is very educative: hence some of the leaders have concentrated in using the social media platform to seek for positive action based plan to be adopted based on some of the responses received when issues are presented for discussion or otherwise for criticism.
It is also noteworthy to say that some members of the political class no longer shield away from the activities of the social media as it was before rather it has become the norm for them to use it to canvass for opinions and positive feedback of political squabbles that has eluded their understanding, thereby giving the youths the preamble of the ideals of politics and what is to be expected of them assuming they are in a position to serve.
Question 5. Supporting the young in activism will be necessary at this time through financial empowerment. This is because some of the youth that will express interest for running political position have remained unemployed for some time and they have no form of basic income to support themselves more or less money for running a parliamentary position. However, if this seems to be dicey because it can be abused and money may not be accounted for, why not through selection, balloting system or direct appointment to choose a representative among the youths.
For instance recently in my local government, precisely Afikpo south in Ebonyi state of Nigeria, the erstwhile House of Assembly candidate observed the interest of some of the women in the community to vie for political position went ahead to get registration forms for the women because they on their own cannot pay for the forms.
He supported their candidature and surprisingly they won in their different wards as local council members. This strategy can also be used to encourage youths to come out in their numbers to participate during parliamentary elections. Encouraging the youths by way of team participation in every social activity- organizing a non- funding meeting, adequate support financially, morally and absolute guidance can guarantee the youths confidence towards increased participation.
Organizing a forum for discussion should not be used as a means to turn the youths or use them as thugs but a way to politically educate them to understand what politics is all about, teaching them how to serve having the public interest at heart and be responsible citizens for the sake of the growing ones. Question 6. For instance in Africa, some group of adult politicians have adopted some youths to be their personal assistant, through that means the sincere ones coach them on how to participate in political affairs.
Some of the adult politicians send them as representatives to community meetings where they are given opportunity to speak on behalf of their master. Some organize youth forum and make the youths present to ask questions and from there some active youths who have shown activism in one way or the other are being adopted to join political party and they are recruited as party agents, representatives, campaign officers and so forth with the aim of grooming them to be the leaders of tomorrow.
I am not against the method because no matter how educated one is, there is the need to learn from the masters and the only way is to first attach oneself to one good master or the other. Question 7. Please share any initiatives you are aware? Supporting young members to be part of the political process at this time is imperative and some of the strategies to achieve this is by way of election keeping reserved seats to be for the youths.
Another way is through quota system which is similar to the first point: a certain quota percentage in parliamentary positions should be reserved for women and youth interested in politics. They should not be threatened by money spinning politicians but should be encouraged that even the poor can also be members of parliament. The other major way of support is by advocacy through an effective and efficient local government political involvement because grassroots politics is the major hurdle to surpass before the bigger parliamentary positions.
With an effective local government structure, the youth gets involved in the activities of their local councils canvassing for votes and reaching the local populace in the language they will understand: the heart of the people will be won and if the youths involved are good community members and law abiding citizens they scale through during the electioneering campaign and subsequently become members of parliament. Therefore, there is the need for the local councils to advertise their activities and get their communities involved in every affair of the council for improved participation of all in that particular community.
For instance during the last dispensation in my country Nigeria, a state member of parliament in my community organized youths of his age and below to be his supporters and he started coaching them on how to hold political positions by way of organizing political forum: and he also used some of them as his thugs which I am very much against but I later discovered that the ones he used as thugs are the ones that have no education but even at that it is expected that he send them to acquire education and used them properly but not as thugs because as soon as one is used as thug it will feel good not knowing it is a wrong move in life.
Hence there is the need to emphasise on the proper education of the youths as a means of forging ahead rather than becoming second class citizens because of lack of education. Question 8. Yea, youths are better equipped with strategies to mitigate the problems of gender inequality and discrimination- the mere reason that social media have created an avenue for interaction among the youths of different background sexes and ages have continued to share their views with each other through that platform.
You make friends male and female on Facebook, twitter, Instagram without knowing them in person, no prior knowledge of each other and maybe if you are smart you choose your friends based on your political, social and economic inclination. Ideas shared on this platform is very much valued giving everyone who has read it a kind of satisfaction creating a uniformity for a compromise with a particular solution to a problem.
Female friends air their views without intimidation and sometimes some of the questions are particularly thrown to the audience of women participants and their views will be sought specifically by the male counterparts. Question 9. To measure the participation of youth in political affairs is not a matter of personal idea, it needs to be researched before an aggregate of findings can be attached to the study.
This is because in recent times calls on the involvement of youths in political affairs have been on the rise and that has necessitated efforts by some countries to review their constitution by way of reform to include quota system of youth and women inclusive participation in political activities. But my observation is that some of this strategies is not sustainable because for instance my MSc thesis was on women participation in politics in Nigeria between the periods of , there was improvement because our then head of state encouraged women to come out and join politics.
He specifically appointed a good number as ministers and others were giving some other appointments. But suffice to say that when his tenure expired and some of these women also retired the subsequent leadership could not meet up with that tempo though they tried but as I am writing now the extent of women participating in the present government tends to be very low.
Though some youths have been appointed by some of the governors but the positions of interest giving to them is not very encouraging, sometimes the people they pick as youths are actors, actresses and musicians which they give similar interest position. What about the teaming youths who are young technocrats interested in policy making and have the excellent knowledge to enact legislation towards the betterment of the society?
These so called actors and actresses do not actually know the demands of the community but concentrate mostly on their career and areas of their career interest, they will hardly create a positive impact on the welfare of the community. Hugh, Matthew. Journal of youth studies: 4 3 : Youth representation in politics and in decision making body essential because they have the power to combat any stagnation and have power to embrace new ideas, innovation.
They can break status quo in politics, good way to create better responsible citizen, this will enhance better understanding of the needs of youth and development. In developing and poor countries, good number of youth are coming and taking membership in political parties but their representation in parliament and decision making is very low. So many causes are there:. Debate competition on current affairs, different social activities can be the platform to identify future potential candidate to bring in parliament to exercise their potentiality for pro-people development.
Criteria of parliamentarians:. They must have good educational background,. Scientific outlook,. At the time of selection of the candidate in political parties intelligent level test must.
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