“Youth And Democracy: The Participation And Inclusion Of Our Youths In Political Activities; Benefits And Challenges” By Ifediora, Franklyn Ifeanyi



Ifediora, Franklyn Ifeanyi
The focus on youth, in terms of
their engagement in the political arena, is a timely, particularly in
light of recent events and democratic transitions.

People under the age of 35 are
rarely found in formal political leadership positions. In a third of countries,
eligibility for the national parliament starts at 25 years or higher and it is
common practice to refer to politicians as ‘young’ if they are below 35-40
years of age.
Youths are not represented
adequately in formal political institutions and processes such as Parliaments,
political parties, elections, and public administrations. The situation is even
more difficult for both young women as well as women at mid-level and
decision-making/leadership positions
In order to respond to the
needs of young people, and to guarantee that their basic human rights are
recognized and enforced, young people’s active and meaningful participation in
their societies and in democratic practices and processes is of crucial
importance. Meaningful youth participation and leadership require that young
people and young people-led organizations have opportunities, capacities, and
benefit from an enabling environment and relevant evidence-based programmes and
policies at all levels.
Realizing young people’s right
to participate and be included in democratic processes and practices is also
vital to ensure the achievement of internationally agreed development goals and
to refresh the development agenda
But difficult question then
follows:
Why should youth participate in
politics and what are the benefits of their involvement?
From
Political To Civic Engagement:
The involvement of youth in
politics leads to civic engagement which is broader than political engagement
because it can include service to the community through involvement in health,
education and charity work. Political engagement is a more targeted aspect of
civic engagement and can be expressed through voting, participating in
political demonstrations and signing petitions for specific issues.
Better
Citizens:
Young people who participate
politically in their community from early on are more likely to become engaged
citizens and voters. So in order to have better “young” citizenship, politics
is one of the best tools.
Break
The Status Quo:
In countries of dictatorship,
the younger generation’s fresh ideas and new leadership can help to overcome
authoritarian practices. Protests led by youth leaders can force autocratic
leaders to step down from power, allowing these youths to become part of formal
decision-making.
Youth
For Youth:
The youth face many issues in
the world, but these issues go unheard. Since the youth would better understand
other young people, the best way to improve this newer generation would be through
politics, which is a tool used to take action for development.
Finally, #NottooYoungToRun is a
done deal! 
Dear brothers and sisters, the
choice still remains ours! 
Written
By:
Ifediora,
Franklyn Ifeanyi
Ifediora, Franklyn Ifeanyi

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