Women who want to enter politics in Burkina Faso face a number of barriers, such as lack of faith in their leadership abilities, few role models and limited opportunities. So it is a struggle in this West African country for women to run for office, rise within party ranks or contribute to party platforms. Those who manage to win elections don’t receive the same level of political party support and training as men and, as a result, have a harder time being successful as office holders.
An encouraging step toward increasing the number of women in politics is a 2009 law requiring that 30 percent of candidates on party lists be female. Local and national elections next year present an opportunity for political parties to put this quota into practice, particularly if they place more women at the top of candidate lists. Currently, only 15 percent of members of parliament are women.