Opportunities for youth to engage in governance and participate in political and decision-making processes
depend largely on the political, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts where social norms in many parts of the world result in multiple forms of discrimination against young women. There is strong evidence that the participation of young people in formal, institutional political processes is relatively low when compared to older citizens across the globe.
This challenges the representativeness of the political system and leads to the disenfranchisement of young people.
The focus on youth according to “ACT” in terms of their engagement in the political arena
is a relatively new priority but extremely timely, particularly in light of recent events and democratic transitions in Nigeria. We have come out to offer concrete interventions with total youth support. People at the age of 35 are rarely found in formal political leadership positions. In a country like Nigeria, eligibility for the national legislative assembly starts at 35 years or higher ad it is common practice to refer to politicians as “young” if they are within 35-40 years of age.
Youth is not represented adequately in formal political institutions and process such as National Assembly, 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-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 developmental agenda.