Youth

Youth

While young people play central and catalyzing roles in movements for democracy around the world, they are less engaged than older generations in voting and party activism. As of 2016 people between the ages of 20 and 44 make up 57% of the world’s voting age population but only 26% of the world’s Members of Parliament (MPs). Young people under 30 only represent 1.9% of the world’s MP’s and more than 80% of the world’s upper houses of Parliament have no MPs aged under 30. While male MPs outnumber female MPs in every age category, gender imbalance is less pronounced among younger MPs around the world. This suggests that young men and women may be more likely to make way for new faces and voices to be represented in decision-making (Inter-parliamentary Union Youth Participation in National Parliaments, 2016). Strategies that may promote the engagement of youth in political processes include: youth quotas; legal reforms to align the voting age with the minimum age for elected officials; proportional representation electoral systems; inclusive parliaments and local governance; removal of barriers for youth electoral participation; outreach and recruitment of students by political parties; and targeted outreach to youth political candidates.

News

23.10.2017
Jacinda Ardern becomes New Zealand's youngest woman leader
New Zealand is set for a centre-left coalition government led by Labour head Jacinda Ardern.Ms Ardern has been opposition leader for the last three months. At 37, she is set to be the country's...
11.08.2017
Young MPs speak out on youth political empowerment
Data from the IPU shows the worrisome lack of representation of young people in parliaments. To commemorate International Youth Day 2017 (12 August), the IPU has asked young MPs worldwide to share...
28.07.2017
The Youth Democracy Academy celebrates first alumni
By Shana KaiserThe first class of International IDEA’s Youth Democracy Academy graduated on 17 July in a ceremony attended by representatives of organizations who will be hosting the alumni as...
20.06.2017
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka - Envoy on Youth
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his next Envoy on Youth. She will succeed Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan to whom the Secretary-...
19.06.2017
"We are not too young to run": Youth in Nigeria march to support bill
Despite comprising almost half of the Nigerian population, youth have been historically marginalized from entering politics at a state and federal level. Aspiring to increase youth’s participation in...
19.06.2017
Building skills for youth political participation in Guinea, by NDI
Approximately 60 percent of Guinea’s population is under the age of 24, but young people in the West African nation continue to be underrepresented in politics. Their interests and priorities are...
Yves Leterme, Secretary-General of International IDEA, speaks during the seminar.
31.05.2017
Youth role in future representation and participation, discussed at Internationa...
Do new generations of citizens no longer support democratic values and practices? To the relief of her audience at the seminar 'Does political participation need political parties and...
04.04.2017
Young people under 30 account for only 1.9% of world parliamentarians
Only 1.9 per cent of lawmakers are aged below 30, and 14.2 per cent below 40, and 26 per cent under 45, shows an Inter-parliamentary Union presentation made on Tuesday. The presentation was made...
30.03.2017
Jamaica: Young men reject quotas for women in politics
The introduction of a quota system in the political landscape to facilitate a greater number of women at all levels of politics, has been shunned by a group of young men, majority of whom stated that...

iKNOW Politics Partners Resources

UNDP
Youth Participation in Electoral Processes – Handbook for Electoral Management Bodies
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)
International IDEA introduces the Youth Democracy Academy
youth
UN Women
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women for Youth
Inter-Parliamentary Union
IPU report shows an under-representation of youth in parliaments worldwide