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On the 25th of February 2015, Wolesi Jirga and the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, organized a round table discussion on youth engagement and participation. The event involved Members of the Afghan Parliament, representatives of the Afghan civil society and students from different universities.

"Afghan youth can be very powerful if they step up for their rights for participation in the society and political engagement", stated Gul Pacha Majadi, Member of the Parliament and representative of Paktia province during the round table discussion organized at the Parliament.

In Afghanistan, 63 percent of the population is below 25 years old and 46 percent is 15 years old or younger. In order to prioritize the rights of youth in the political agenda, a series of round table discussions will be held in the next six months to address the challenges and ways forward to fulfil Afghanistan's young people's potential and to advocate higher education, vocational training, healthcare and employment oppertunities.

This first of these round table discussions was attended by the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Taimor Shah Eshaqzai. Representatives of the Wolesi Jirga, Afghan civil society and UNFPA also participated in the event.

The round table discussions are part of a long term advocacy agreement between the Afghan Parliament and UNFPA. The initiative will seek the participation of the Afghan youth so they can be aware and learn about the policy making process in the country and how they can be involved in it.

Youth engagement, participation and challenges, female harassment and unemployment are among the themes planned to be discussed in the coming months.

Photo Stream on Flickr - Youth and Parliament