Male faces are still dominant in parliaments across the world. Picture: Reuters
Cape Town - The words 'youth' and 'politics' never used to go together. And as recently as 10 years ago, women in politics were few and far in between. 

While men still dominate the political arena globally, more and more women are coming to the fore to claim their place as decision makers and future shapers.

We showcase some of the young women who are carving a niche for themselves in politics around the world.

Hlomela Bucwa

Twenty four-year-old Hlomela Bucwa is the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) in South Africa.

She addressed the nation for the first time on February 21 2017, and instantly a household name.

"A generation of born frees who are victim to two decades of compounding government greed and corruption. This is a lost generation whose government has turned its back on the building blocks, the futures, of my fellow young South Africans," Hlomela told Parliament on that occasion.

Hlomela is also a former president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).

Picture: Screenshot

Jess Phillips

Jessica Rose Phillips is a Labour Party politician who became a Member of the British Parliament in 2015.

She was re-elected in the 2017 general election.

She is known to be extremely outspoken about gender issues.

She received backlash and rape threats when she criticised the gender make-up of Labour's shadow cabinet reshuffle in January last year.

Picture: Twitter

Mhairi Black

In 2015 Mhairi Black became Britain's youngest member of parliament since 1667. She was just 20 years old at the time.

She has become a strong voice in Parliament, and has openly voiced a need for greater diversity in the political sphere. 

Mhairi is very vocal about LGBT rights, and the national food bank crisis.

Picture: Wikipedia

Chelsi Henry Bennett

Chelsi Henry Bennnet has achieved a lot in her 29 years.

Bennet was the youngest elected woman in Jacksonville's history when she became the Supervisor of Soil and Water Conservation District Group 5 in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2010.

Soon thereafter she was appointed to serve as a Senior Policy Advisor in Florida's Capitol.

She is currently the CEO and President of The CHB Group and her opinions on various political issues still carry weight.

Picture: Twitter

Tasneem Motara

Tasneem Motara might only be 34-years-old, but she has been with the African National Congress (ANC) for 17 years.

Motara serves on the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) representing Gauteng as a provincial Whip.

She grew up in a very politically active home and said some of her family members were in exile during the apartheid-era, while some are still active in politics today.

"I believe that as South Africans we have a lot more to be grateful for than we need to be negative about - we just do not realise how fortunate we are," she said recently.

Picture: Twitter

Liezl Linda van der Merwe

Liezl Linda van der Merwe had a keen interest in politics from a very young age. 

After being in the media industry in South Africa and abroad, she joined the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) as a media officer.

She then became a member of IFP and joined the IFP Youth Brigade. In 2012, van der Merwe became a Member of Parliament.

She serves the IFP in the Western Cape but also does constituency work in KwaZulu Natal.

Picture: People's Assembly

Magdalene Moonsamy

Magdalene Moonsamy may no longer be the Economic Freedom Fighter's (EFF) Treasurer, but her name is firmly etched on South Africa's political landscape.

Moonsamy, like most EFF members, has never hesitated to take a strong stand for a cause she believes in, and this saw her leave the EFF after they threw their weight behind the DA during last year's local elections.

She is currently focusing on her legal practice.

Magdalene Moonsamy. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi

In 2015, Saudi Arabia elected its first female politicians, resulting in Saudi women ecstatic about their newly-found liberation.

In that year, Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi became Saudi's first female councillor when she won a seat on Mecca’s municipal council in the country's first ever elections that was open to female voters and candidates.

She was running against seven men and two women,

Bint Hizab al-Oteibi's appointment was not only a first for the Arab country but the election itself was regarded as historic.

Picture: Twitter/@Omar_alhathloul

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