It has been argued that where women are fully represented, societies are more peaceful and stable. Women's political participation is fundamental for gender equality and their representation in positions of leadership must be a priority for all African governments. Women are largely under-represented in decision-making and leadership positions in Africa.
 
Over the last years, there has been more women in parliaments and decision-making positions than before. In the parliamentary elections of Rwanda in September 2013 women obtained 64 percent of the seats, which is the highest number in the world. However, women's participation in governmance and decision-making remain very limited. They are outnumbered by men in all decision-making and leadership positions.
 
In the history of Africa, there are now three women who have been elected president:
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – President of the Republic of Liberia
  • Joyce Banda – President of the Republic of Malawi
  • Catherine Samba-Panza – Interim President of the Central African Republic

There is progress here and there on the continent regarding women's rights . We must go much further to ensure greater gender equality in Africa. It is not just a matter of justice....When women take their rightful place at the negotiating table, in the parliament and in leadership positions across society, we can unleash Africa’s enormous potential..." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

To learn more about women's political participation, please visit the following websites:

Source: IPS
In 1991, the share of seats held by women in the Ethiopian parliament was under 3 percent. Today it stands at 38 percent, almost twice the ratio of women in the United States Congress. Experts say when women are better represented in government office, the gains are likely to spill down and improve the lives of all women.

Source: Daily Oserver

A Civil Society Group of women led by women’s rights groups and networks has released a communique calling for reform in the New Elections Law Section 4.5 (b) and (c).

Source: Africa Renewal

Twenty years ago, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), recognizing the criticality of women's participation and leadership in peace and political processes.

Source: All Africa
Former Ethics and Integrity minister Dr. Miria Matembe has challenged women to take up more leadership positions in the forthcoming general elections, in order to achieve gender balance.

Source: New Zimbabwe

The government is committed to implementing a gender policy that will see more women occupying key decision-making positions, the Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson Tsitsi Choruma has said.

Source: UN Women
More than 150 women from various sectors, including women politicians, civil servants, entrepreneurs, civil society, women living with disabilities, rural women, young girls and women in the media gathered at the Mont Febe Hotel in Yaoundé to take part in the launch of the Cameroon branch of African Women Leaders Network AWLN.

Source: Daily Nation 
Millicent Kagonga, 29, goes about her chores in the small but tidy one-roomed house she shares with her two children and her sister in Nairobi’s Kariobangi estate.

Source: Al Jazeera
Across Kenya, students are starting to speak out and challenge a problem they say plagues the country's campuses. 

Source: VOA

Civic groups, political parties and the government are pleading for the women of Cameroon to vote in next week's local and parliamentary elections, despite threats by separatist groups who have vowed to disrupt the polls.

Source: Daily Nation
Opinion

By Kamau Maichuhie and Moraa Obiria

The changes in government announced on Tuesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta have raised a ray of hope for a gender balanced public service.

In the fresh changes, Mr Kenyatta appointed Betty Maina as Industrialisation Cabinet secretary and 15 new chief administrative secretaries (CAS) -- eight are women.

Source: Voice of America
By: Naba Mohiedeen

Sudan's ruling council has appointed the country's first woman chief justice. The appointment is seen as another step forward for female representation in the new transitional government. 

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