The Future of Youth Democratic Engagement in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) recently organized a policy circle discussion on “The Future of Youth Democratic Engagement in Bangladesh” at The Westin, Dhaka. Mr. Kregg Halstead, J.D., Resident Program Director, Bangladesh Program, International Republican Institute (IRI) and Mr. Nurul Huda Sakib, Professor, Department of Government and Politics, Jahangirnagar University were the respected speakers who shared their valuable thoughts with the audience. The moderator of the discussion was Major General ANM Muniruzzaman, ndc, psc, (retd), President, BIPSS. Former ambassadors, representatives from different organizations, students have attended the program.

Mr. Shafqat Munir, Senior Research Fellow at BIPSS, emphasized the importance of understanding the future of democratic engagement and the youth’s perspective on it. Major General Muniruzzaman highlighted the significance of young people’s democratic engagement in Bangladesh, where approximately 35% of the population are youth, who will shape the country’s future. Mr. Kregg noted that youth roles in politics are often underestimated as more focus is on maintaining ties with high officials, advocating for prioritizing youth engagement. He highlighted the youth-related political work of IRI, including collaborations with student wings to reduce election-related violence and research on youth attitudes towards politics. Mr. Sakib discussed their research on youth perceptions of democracy, political participation, involvement of young women, and youth expression through social media. The study revealed that youth use sign language on social media, rural youth are more politically interested than urban youth, and there is a lack of platforms for rural youth to share political views.

The interactive session covered issues like the need for political idols, incorporating politics into educational curriculum, current politicians’ lack of morality and ethics, and harassment caused by student wings in educational institutions.

The Future of Youth Democratic Engagement in Bangladesh

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