National 12.8.2016 04:47 pm

Young women not as active in politics as men – survey

Students, alongside former SRC president Mcebo Dlamini (centre), march around Wits University on October 15, 2015. Picture: Michel Bega

Students, alongside former SRC president Mcebo Dlamini (centre), march around Wits University on October 15, 2015. Picture: Michel Bega

Lots must be done to ensure that young women participate in political decisions that impact on their future, a report says.

A survey carried out by the Afrobarometer which was released on Friday to commemorate International Youth Day found that young men in Africa were more politically active than young women.

Spokesperson for the Southern Africa region Sibusiso Nkomo said that the survey’s findings showed that “African youth are less likely than their elders to engage in a variety of political and civic activities, including voting, attending community meetings, joining others to raise an issue, and contacting leaders”.

The report was launched at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.

Nkomo said that what was concerning was that the survey showed that “young women express significantly less interest in public affairs than young men”.

The survey, titled “Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political participation lags among African youth, especially women”, was based on 54 000 interviews that took place in 36 countries on the continent from 2014-2015.

The report showed that citizens aged 36 and older were more actively involved in political affairs than the youth, particularly when it came to voting, but that the youth, aged 18-35, were more actively engaged in protests than the older citizens.

Young women aged 18-35 (61%) showed less interest than their male counterparts (67%) and older citizens (67%) when it came to discussing politics, and when it came to attending community meetings, the older citizens participated more in these meetings (62%), followed by young men (54%) and young women (49%).

When it came to partaking in protests, young men (11%) were more likely to participate than their young female counterparts (8%) and older citizens (8%).

Much more needed to be done to ensure that young women actively participated in political decisions that impact on their future, the report concluded.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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