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Change is then not instituted and the status quo continues...

Whether it be in Egypt or in Libya or the protest and revolution that happened just few years back in Nepal, the youth participation was and is always very high. The participation of youth in the political process has been rapidly increasing over time and so are our concerns about current events either through political parties or from individual interest. However, this interest does not assure that the youth have been equally represented at the policy and decision making levels. As a passionate and important demographic, youth should be better represented when it comes to policy decisions that often so greatly affect them.

The role of youth in every powerful political revolution in Nepal has been remarkable and very much appreciated. During the revolution in 2062-63BS, which changed our country from a democracy to a republic, 80% of the participants were youth. Even in the past revolution which happened in 2007, 2036 and 2046 BS and happened to be the most powerful revolutions in Nepalese political history, the role of youth was quite significant and very memorable. Youth powers were highly used even in the 10 years of internal conflict between the government and Maoist faction.

But when it comes to giving youth an opportunity to be involved in political decision, the majority of Nepali people and politicians still think that the youth are not mature enough to hold such power. They think the youth lack comprehensive knowledge and they have little experience to be involved in political decision making. In Nepali society it is believed that elders should lead and youth should follow.

Personally I agree with what United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon has said- "Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels."

Though the major political parties have their own youth wings to encourage participation of young people in its activities, they still follow their predecessor’s footsteps even when the issues need to be changed. Therefore we have only been used for protest. For the past 1 ½ years, I have had the opportunity to work with student politicians. In all of my experience I have never heard them express their own opinions about change they are hoping for, but rather expressing their ‘party line’ or senior politician’s sayings. While students may have the potential to raise their voices in a unique and significant way, this is not always so easy. Often times, I find that we are controlled by the “mother party” and take the path of least resistance, carrying out the majority’s wishes. Change is then not instituted and the status quo continues.

Even though the youth’s voices may have not been properly heard (or listened to) in the past, the presence of youth in our national constitution-making process has created a new hope in Nepalese youth. The number of youth involved in politics has been increasing and so has the number of youth in central level positions of political parties. But we also need to be careful about ensuring quality education to the students in politics. They need to be given enough space and opportunities for their studies and qualifications to actually make them qualified for political decision making.

Youth are the agents of change and the greatest power in politics today. Youth have enthusiasm for new change, power to fight against bad systems, knowledge for timely improvements and the voice to change a society, a nation and the world. How can we even mention for example-The 2062/63B.S. revolution in Nepal or the revolution that just occurred in Egypt, and not consider the youth’s vital role for greater change?

The International Year of Youth 2010/11 can even play a major role by prioritizing the rights of youth in political decision making when it comes to issues like education, healthcare, employment and rights. When youth have access to share ideas and make our voices heard. We feel like we make an important difference! This is empowering and motivating to us as we want to help create a better community, country and world. Even at a young age, we begin to leave a positive mark on the planet!

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 30 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most unheard regions of the world.

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Sarvina's picture

Hi Nilima, Congratulations

Hi Nilima,

Congratulations for your powerful oped piece!

Love,

Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

nilima's picture

Thank you sarvina:)

Thank you sarvina:)

AchiengNas's picture

Nilima, I love your Op Ed, I

Nilima,
I love your Op Ed, I love your confidence in the youths. It is happening not only in your country. It is here in Uganda too. In this political atmosphere, the youths who protest for changed are being bartered everyday, imprisoned and wounded, others are killed and some just "DISAPPEAR". The youths should be given the platform and freedom to exercise their leadership.

I speak because I am a youth, dying for democracy, freedom and justice.

Love,

Bea

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

nilima's picture

Achieng yes its true ! but we

Achieng yes its true ! but we - you and me are together , isnt it?? we will make us heard and we will make our rights ensure:) if we are together then nothing is impossible:)

Breese's picture

empowering youth

Nilima,
Thanks for sharing this, it's such a great piece and so important. The youth are not only the future leaders, but they also make up the largest demographic in many countries, and the fact that they are so often ignored or excluded by political systems is a big issue.

Thanks!
-Breese

nilima's picture

Thank u so much:) yes it is

Thank u so much:) yes it is the big issue and we really needed to talk about, in nepal's condition its even more.
Thank u for going through it and i really appreciate ur comment.
Thank u so much.

Ruun Abdi's picture

Very powerful piece. I really

Very powerful piece. I really loved reading your Op-ed.

Lots of love,
RA

nilima's picture

Thank you Ruun :D

Thank you Ruun :D

Fungai Machirori's picture

You are right!

Young people should be included in the process of reform and not just used when politicians fins it convenient!

Well done!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

nilima's picture

i agree with you dear and

i agree with you dear and thank you so much for appreciation :D

Rachel Symons's picture

Nilima, Even in today's

Nilima,

Even in today's globalized world and the age of social networking, many youth do not realize that they have such power because it has been suppressed for so long. This is a great piece and very empowering. With all that is going on in the Middle-east I think youth around the world are seeing that they do have power, and I think very soon we will see more youth raise their voices, especially in the political realm.

~Rachel

nilima's picture

yes i agree with you totally,

yes i agree with you totally, we need to be realized, empowered, educated and given opportunities to miximize the youth participation even in political movement/ activities and decision making.

thank you for your valuable opinion here on my post.

:)

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Wow!

Great piece, Nilima! You have chosen a topic that matches your contemporary role in humanity! The youth is really the hope of tomorrow. For so long the world has not seen much of this hope ... but now it's rising and unstoppable! Go go new generation ... the world is yours to own ...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

nilima's picture

thank you emie, thank you so

thank you emie, thank you so much, all of us need to be together to make this world beautiful :D

Nilima, this is such an important issue to bring to the forefront of the world's attention - and how timely! Good job, and thank you!

nilima's picture

thank you marissa:) ya i

thank you marissa:) ya i think this is the right time to talk about it when many countries are in the transformational phase:)

if we dnt talk about it right now then we would not be able to see the change in out time:)

thank you for your time on my post!

Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture

Powerful and Timely

A very powerful and timely piece Nilima! I think this is a very important issue which is not getting much attention right now in global media. One of the issues that I have seen brought up is the participation of women in the governments that are formed post-protest/uprising in the Arab world--but I haven't heard much talk about youth. I agree with you that it is more important than ever to ensure their participation.

Great work!

Rachael

"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

nilima's picture

Thank you Rachael:) Yes i

Thank you Rachael:) Yes i have read lots of news about women participation and its a good sign of bright future. But youth too are to be cared to make sure that we have rights to all levels of decision making.

thank you for your valuable time here on my post:)

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