How to get women’s voices heard in African politics

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How to get women’s voices heard in African politics

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Across the world activists are working hard to get more women in politics. But getting women into politics is only half of the challenge. The second half is to make sure that women are not only seen, but also heard. 

This means being able to speak out about the issues that concern them, and being able to shape political decisions. Increasing the proportion of women in parliament helps, but it does not guarantee this outcome.

South Africa does pretty well when it comes to gender representation. The ANC’s 50/50 gender quota for its candidates list means that the country has one of the highest proportions of female legislators in the world, ranking 10th globally — ahead of the Germany, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.

Yet this apparent success hides a number of significant problems. The ANC is the only party that strictly enforces a gender quota. In 2019 the Democratic Alliance was forced to defend itself against after it presented a male dominated list of candidates. Research by the Daily Maverick also found that the strength of women’s representation declines the further up the political food chain one goes.

Click here to read the full article published by Mail Guardian on 23 July 2019.

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