Skip to main content
Case studies

Mexico picks up the baton from Paraguay

Cynthia López Castro

Ms. Cynthia López Castro (Mexico). © IPU/Joel Sheakoski

Launched in April 2021, the IPU’s I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament! campaign continued to yield results in 2023. 

Inviting parliamentarians and others to sign up for six key pledges, the campaign aims to correct the significant under-representation of youth in parliaments. And it appears to be resonating widely, with the momentum for change spreading in Latin America too.

The six pledges are to: promote youth quotas, align the age of eligibility for office with the voting age, support youth channels in parliament, empower young parliamentarians, mentor young aspirants, and advocate for youth participation.

Paraguay was an early adopter of the campaign, successfully passing a new law in 2022 to lower the ages of eligibility for municipal office and for the role of councillor, thanks to lobbying by two Senators. 

Inspired by Paraguay, which had also hosted the IPU Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in 2019, Mexican opposition MP and current President of the IPU Bureau of Women Parliamentarians, Cynthia López Castro, championed a new law in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies to lower the age of eligibility from 21 to 18 years old. 

The bill passed two years later after intensive lobbying, media coverage, advocacy efforts in the country’s schools and universities, and cross-party support, including from government majority MPs, to get the bill across the line. 

Looking to the future, the campaign’s advocates say that its pledges could shape the future of democracy for many generations to come. 

The campaign was also launched in Chile and Uruguay in 2023 and early results are promising.