Participation is centrally concerned with issues of power. Different levels and sources of power will have an impact on who can get involved in a project or in making a decision, who speaks at meetings, Delegate at the Workshop for Positive Women, organised by the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Asia Regional Centre, 19 May 2005.whose ideas are listened to, who benefits and who does not.

In most cultures, men have more power than women, and elders have more power than youth. In a development context, gender and age differences in power translate to gender and age differences in participation. As a result, separate avenues of participation often have to be established, such as women’s groups and youth groups.