Trends of the last decades highlight an accentuated crisis of political representation, especially among youth who prefer to get involved in more selective and autonomous form of participation. At the same time, while political rights of women are embodied in the laws of most countries, they are not applied in practice and women continue to be under-represented in political decision-making, in public office and in the civil service. Factors contributing to this are numerous, including historical, cultural, ideological influences, as well as the specific economic and social circumstances of young people and it is clear that legislative actions (e.g. quotas, parity thresholds, targets, etc.) in parties and institutions are not sufficient to ensure gender parity, even less to ensure truly representative processes.
The consortium of partners of “PatH-ER-ways: Creating pathways for political participation of young women” believes change must come at earlier stages, and so, it is necessary to encourage and empower active citizenship and participation, since young age. This changing attitude should start from civil society to change political culture from the grassroots. Thus, it is recognised the crucial role of youth NGOs that should be the 1st in incorporating gender equality, and instil the values of justice and participation necessary to the effective exercise of democratic citizenship, by training, educating and advocating for young women to turn their personal achievement into social and political ones.
“PatH-ER” project aims to develop the competences of youth workers, youth trainers and educators to efficiently engage young women in the political life within their organizations, networks and communities, contributing to improve the representation of young women in the decision making bodies and structures within participatory and representative democracy, thus guaranteeing the defence of the particular issues and challenges they face and contributing to a more democratic, sustainable, representative and equalitarian society and to social and civil development.
Nevertheless, this international consortium of partners understands this is a global situation, needing to be tackled both in nascent and more established democracies, since different realities persist over experiments made in term of legislative actions with different concrete achieved results around the world. Having in mind the global frame of this challenge and the multiculturalism lived in nowadays societies, the consortium of partner organizations has the aim of achieving a transnational understanding on this of topic and to contribute to the development of new models of women in politics worldwide.
“PatH-ER” will provide a space for networking, intercultural dialogue, mutual learning experiences, and development of a long-term partnership between European, African, Asian and American organizations active in the field of youth participation and young women empowerment.
Our project aims to develop the competences of youth workers, youth trainers and educators to efficiently engage young women in the political life within their organizations, networks and communities, contributing to improve the representation of young women in the decision making bodies and structures within participatory and representative democracy, thus guaranteeing the defence of the particular issues and challenges they face and contributing to a more democratic, sustainable, representative and equalitarian society and to social and civil development.
- To develop the capacity building of the partner organizations to improve their work on youth participation, particularly regarding young women political participation, among their target groups and networks;
- To improve the capacity of trainers and educators to be able to efficiently work on the issue of young women political empowerment in their national and local realities;
- To develop an education handbook that can support organizations, youth workers and institutions worldwide initiating their work on gender equality in governance and empowerment of young political representation within youth work, including transnational recommendations on the topic;
- To foster a transnational understanding between youth workers on the topic of youth political participation and identify policy practices that create environments that promote young women participation;
- To develop sustainable partnerships and networks among organisations working with youth for more democratic structured processes;
- to identify and exchange good practices initiatives at international level that promote young women political participation in their communities or/and organizations;
- To identify particular challenges of more vulnerable young women, such as diasporas communities, through a transnational perspective;
- To increase the institutional awareness on the importance to develop youth policy particularly addressing young women participation in decision-making.