Strengthening women's participation in local governance: lessons and strategies
South Africa has made great strides in establishing a constitutional and legislative framework for building a participatory democracy. This paper seeks to explore the extent to which existing participatory mechanisms enable active participation by women in municipal processes, and possible alternative approaches and models to strengthen this. A gap in studies thus far reveals the need to examine to what extent current participation mechanisms accommodate equity issues by enabling marginalized or vulnerable groups to participate in governance, and women living in poverty, in particular. The paper commences with an assessment of the existing policy framework for public participation, and then – drawing on literature and case studies on approaches and models for strengthening women's participation – puts forward recommendations in this regard.
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