Voices is part of a new IPU web series in which we interview parliamentarians from around the world. The views and opinions they express are their own and do not necessarily reflect the IPU’s position.
Rayya al-Manthari, young MP from Oman, is a member of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians. We interviewed her on the occasion of International Youth Day on 12 August.
What are the barriers preventing youth from running for parliament in your country?
There are no specific barriers to Omani youth running for the Consultative Council. The government encourages young people to join the Council. The lower age limit to run for the Council is 30. It is worth pointing out that in its current term, young people aged 30–45 have won the majority of the seats, making up 65 per cent of the total.
What can parliaments/governments do to make it easier?
As there are no specific barriers to the participation of young people in the Consultative Council, I believe that it depends on young people themselves and their willingness to participate in parliament. By making their voices heard, they can drive their country’s future.
How has your experience in the IPU helped change you as an MP in your home country?
I am a member of the State Council, appointed by His Majesty the Sultan, not the elected Consultative Council. I have benefited from being a member of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians. For example, I have seen how other countries empower young people, how they deal with challenges, and how young people can communicate with the parties involved in national development and become more involved themselves.