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

17.12.2018
Youth representation in parliament nudges up according to new IPU report
The global proportion of MPs under 30 has increased in two years from 1.9 per cent to 2.2 per cent according to the IPU’s biannual report on Youth Participation in National Parliaments published...
02.08.2018
Morocco’s young parliamentary fellows work to advance women’s political particip...
It’s 8:30 AM and Fatiha* is walking into the Moroccan Parliament. In a few minutes, she’s scheduled to sit down with her member of parliament (MP) for their weekly one-on-one meeting. Fatiha plans to...
27.06.2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Millennial beats veteran Democrat
A millennial candidate has shaken up the US Democratic Party by defeating the incumbent congressman for his seat.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, defeated political veteran Joe Crowley, 56, on Tuesday...
06.03.2018
Youth in Kyrgyzstan unite their voices ahead of crucial presidential vote
In 2017, Kyrgyzstan faced a critical turning point in the country's history. For the first time, an elected president would willingly hand power to an elected successor. Recognizing the importance of...
08.01.2018
Women in politics: Invitation to shadow Welsh Assembly member
Young women are being given the chance to shadow an assembly member for the day in an effort to boost female participation in politics.The February event includes a Senedd tour, a question and answer...
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-...

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