Enhancing Youth Political Participation
Young people between the ages of 15 and 25 constitute a fifth of the
world’s population. While they are often involved in informal, politically
relevant processes, such as activism or civic engagement, they are not
formally represented in national political institutions such as parliaments
and many of them do not participate in elections. This can impact on the
quality of democratic governance. Creating this guide involved an intensive desk review of reports and analysis from around the world. The perspectives of development practitioners and youth were solicited through email interviews and focus group discussions at a meeting in Cairo.
- The inclusion of youth in formal politics is important, as the 2011/2012 Arab States popular uprisings and various Occupy movements have demonstrated.
- In countries in transition, fresh ideas and new leadership can help to overcome authoritarian practices.
- Where youth-led protests have forced authoritarian regimes from power, significant frustration is likely to arise if youth are not included in new formal decision-making.