Written by Xyrellle Supremo Janurary 2, 2022
"Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan," is a line spoken by Dr. Jose Rizal—Philippines' national hero—to extol how youth can bring significant change and innovation to our country, as well as the rest of the world; however, with change comes the question of unity and collaboration.
International Relations goes beyond the manifestations of poverty and health crises, peace and war, in view of the fact that it seeks the significance of world politics, intrinsic political patterns, and identifies the theories and studies of how determination and cooperation can be attained.
Yet despite youths or people under the age of 25 making up almost 50% of the world’s population, representation of their voices is inadequate in most aspects of politics and international relations. By incorporating marginalized voices into the equation, the field boasts about its diversity. Nevertheless, besides gender and race dimensions, they must most importantly portray the acceptance of diverse age groups.
The youth’s interconnections through the media gives them unlimited access to sources on the internet, which allows them to finally give their stand and question the status quo and government. A strength they’ve used to power their generation and phase forward as fast as the technology they’re using. This is something that should’ve been taken into consideration by the ruling elites yet has been overlooked for the past years.
Over the last two decades, youth-led revolutions have transformed political agendas, deposed dictators, demolished communist regimes, and ushered in social change. Students helped to establish the Democratic Movement in Mozambique in 2008. In 2010, youth played a critical role in igniting protest movements throughout the Middle East, dubbed the Arab Spring. In 2011, the Indignados movement arose from a youth social network. Student demonstrations in Venezuela and Nicaragua in 2017 and 2018 sparked calls to overthrow dictatorships. The recent student movements in the United States, including the Never Again Movement, Black Lives Matter, and the court case against the U.S. government for environmental sustainability, have placed the youth's voice in the spotlight and somehow proved that activism and the awareness of their generation are also at their peak.
Nonetheless, all of these are still insufficient. They require more power and opportunity to finally have the full right to contribute to global changes, to voice their opinions and political positions, and to assist our world leaders in shaping their future. They should be at the forefront of global change and innovation.