This monitor is meant to identify major developments in the context of youth-related issues and policies in Pakistan. This study will help in identifying key trends and topics of interest among the youth of Pakistan and may also contribute towards removing certain hurdles that exist in the way of bringing forth pro-youth reforms.
Youth Digital Survey by PILDAT
Following are the key findings of an opinion survey conducted among the 422 members and alternates of PILDAT’s Youth Parliament Pakistan spread over 232 (85.3 %) of total 272 National Assembly Constituencies in addition to Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Overseas Pakistanis. The survey was conducted from April 07 to April 12, 2022.
Youth torn over the fairness and credibility of the next General Elections: About 51.9% of youth surveyed believes that the upcoming General Election of Pakistan will be free, fair & credible while an almost equal number (46.9%) believes otherwise.
While debate over usage of EVMs is ongoing, youth shows a favourable stance:76.7% of Youth believe that EVMs will be helpful in organising free, fair & credible elections while 22.1% believe they would not be helpful.
Reasons for low Youth Voter Turnout, Poor Performance of Politicians tops as key reason: 42.3% of youth respondents believe that the poor performance of politicians is the key reason for abysmally low youth voter turnout, followed by low level of trust in Political Parties (42%) and the poor past performance of Election Commission (37.5%).
What makes youth support a political party?: 37.9% of the respondents are motivated to support a political party due to its past performance, 36.5% base their support on the party’s election manifesto while 17.5% are motivated by the charismatic head of the party.
Large Majority supports revival of Students’ Unions across Pakistan: A significant portion (81.1%) of the young respondents agree over students’ unions being allowed once again, in all public and private educational institutes of Pakistan while 16.9% are in disagreement over their revival.
Major Challenges faced by Pakistan; Inflation tops the list: Ranking the challenges faced by Pakistan today, 48.7% youth believes that inflation is the greatest challenge faced by the country, followed by unemployment (45.6%) and the poor quality of education across educational institutions in the country (36.3%).
96% youth feels strongly for Local Governments: 95.9% of the young individuals surveyed believe that public problems can never be effectively solved without strong local governments.
Despite weaknesses & setbacks, Democracy receives Overwhelming support from Youth: 84.9% of the respondents agree that democracy, despite its weaknesses, is the best system for our country.
Top social media trends during April, 2022
Keeping in view the heated political climate of the country during the month of April 2022, the top social media trends on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram revolved around former Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan’s political rallies and addresses to the public taking place across the country. Following are the top trends collected for the month of April 2022:
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) launches Voter Education & Awareness Series for Students. Dismally low participation of youth in the electoral process, especially as voters has been a concern in Pakistani Electoral Process. Although there are no authentic statistics available for the Youth Voter Turnout in General Elections, the Exit Polls data collected and compiled by such professional pollsters as Gallup Pakistan give a reasonably accurate picture of the Youth (18 to 29 Years) Voter Turnout. 18-29 Years age group is important because 18 years is the minimum age required to register as a voter and 29 years is the upper limit for the Youth as defined by the Government Policy. According to the media reports quoting ECP sources, registered voters in 18 to 29 years cohort form the largest of all age cohorts. This, sadly, doesn’t seem to reflect in the estimated Youth Voter Turnout. Youth participation as candidates in various levels (Local, Provincial and National) of elections is also does not seem very promising. Average Estimated Youth Voter Turnout in the past eight elections happened to be just 31% which is 13 percentage points lower than the average overall voter turnout for these eight elections. Even during the past two elections for which women voter turnout figures are available, Average Youth Voter Turnout extimates are a mere 31.5% compared to 40% for Women Voter Turnout and 53 % for Average Overall Voter Turnout.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has started a series of workshops from November 2021 for students of four provinces for voter education and student awareness. A total of 264 workshops have been conducted so far. A provincial break down reflects that so far 98 workshops have been conducted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 68 in Sindh, 44 in Balochistan and 3 in the Federal Capital.
Ms. Mahrukh Chohan, a 23-year-old female from Bahawalpur, has become the youngest Central Superior Services (CSS) officer. She ranked 73rd in the CSS examination 2021 and was allotted CSS (50 Common) Pakistan Customs Services Group. She joined the service in 2022 becoming the youngest ever in the history of Pakistan Customs.
Hunarmand Nojawan Project
The Punjab government had launched the project on December 14, 2019 to empower 94,700 youths with a new focus on quality demand-driven skills and increase the training facility for young graduates from 90,000 per annum graduates to 157,000 through introducing second shift in Tevta institutes to boost economic/productive efficiency. But now a report has revealed that 93.2% of the youth who received training on quality demand-driven skills during the last three years under “Hunarmand Nojawan Project” are still unemployed.
United Nations Youth Report “Youth 2030”
A Global Progress Report 2022 is the second report on the status of implementation of Youth2030, the UN Youth Strategy launched on April 01, 2022. The report highlights how the UN is advancing global commitments for and with youth; the impact of strategic planning, funding, coherence and coordination within the UN on youth work; and how global stewardship is strengthening accountability, ensuring that no youth is left behind.