Dra. Mónica Banegas Cedillo
Directora Ejecutiva de la Fundación Haciendo Ecuador
In many democratic countries we observed a phenomenon of low or limited youth participation in elections, it cannot but be a matter of concern. The youth voter participation is essential because today’s young involving will improve tomorrow’s democracy. To achieve that the new generations assume their electoral participation is a basic challenge for all democracies, and requires a commitment from governments, political organizations and non-governmental organizations that believe democracy is the unique way to government. Young people are still under-represented, it is a big threat for democratic system.
Despite, the social, cultural and political contexts vary from one country to the next, the youth participation is necessary for democracy. Youth’s political participation is central and political parties are among the most important institutions for promoting and nurturing such participation.
The lack of interest of young people could be due to personal individualism, which induces young people to lose interest in the common good and, therefore, in political activity. The commitment of each person to the society that belongs, disappears because they believe that their personal and professional self-realization depends on them unique and exclusively.
When youth have a real voice in all governance institutions, from the political to civil society, they will be able to participate equally in public dialogue and influence on making decisions which determine their own future. Members of political organizations, particularly those in leadership roles, and civil society organizations and youth activists are working to get governments to adopt youth participation as a mandatory rule.
They need to be supported to discover a community sense of politics and awaken their commitment to public affairs. Young people must become aware of the seriousness of being indifferent to electoral matters and we must promote efficient policies to overcome the problem.
As mentioned before, candidates need the youth vote so they should implement an attractive youth agenda. Young volunteers contribute to their political organizations, they carry flags at rallies, and be substitutes on the electoral lists. They must be a substantial part of the policy; however, so far, we do not see a real commitment from the old politics to assume a generational leadership change. If youth cannot be a part of public policy decisions, their needs and dreams will continue to be underestimated.
 Politics, Lawyer and Professor. Director of Fundación Haciendo Ecuador. Spokeswoman of the National Observatory for Women Political Participation. Former Vice President of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control. Former Director of the Institute of Democracy of the National Electoral Council. Constitutionalist, Electoral Expert and in political communication with emphasis on debate, oratory and argumentation. Civil society advisor for UN Women. Member of the Women´s Democracy Network of International Republican Institute. Vice President of the International Network: Politics is a women’s matter. Member of Political Scientists and Constitutionalist Women Networks.