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: The East African 

When Somalia's former Foreign Affairs minister Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam announced her candidacy for president in the next elections, the reaction in Mogadishu was mostly muted.

Yet Ms Adam, from a prominent family of scholars, is not just testing the waters. She may well be testing the rigidity of an age-old culture.

Source: Citizen 

The swearing-in and subsequent release of the official portrait of our first female president wrote a great story both in our hearts and "herstory" books. Fate had it in store for Tanzanians that the country's very first female vice president would also become its first female president.

When images of the first Cabinet meeting circulated on social media, many women's rights advocates, myself included, felt that a female president wouldn't be happy with a male-dominated cabinet. Expectations were high that changes were in store, especially after some women's rights were trampled on in the past six years.

Source: Botswana Daily News

Gaborone — There is need to change strategies aimed at improving women's representation in decision making as current ones are not yielding desired results, says Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Ms Annah Mokgethi. 

She said this at the recent launch of a Democracy Works Foundation Capacity Enhancement for Political Advancement of Women (CEPAW) project in Gaborone.

Source: The Conversation Africa

President Yoweri Museveni, who has led Uganda since 1986, has appointed a woman, Jessica Alupo, as vice-president and another woman, Robinah Nabbanja, as prime minister. He has also increased the percentage of women in the cabinet from 27% to 43%. This is the second time Museveni has appointed a woman as vice-president. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe served as vice-president from 1994 to 2003.

These appointments have provoked considerable debate in Uganda, reflecting both the constraints and the possibilities of women's rights reform in an authoritarian country. Freedom House ranks Uganda as a "Not Free" country. This is due to election violence and limits on political rights and civil liberties.

Source: Daily News 

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday reaffirmed Tanzania's commitment in striking gender parity, saying the country was on track to meet the 50/50 threshold in leadership.

Source: The East African

The political agreement signed in Somalia this past heralds not just a new democratic dawn but also one of equity and inclusivity by raising the quota of women in the formal political space to at least a third of the bicameral federal legislature.

Source: The Conversation Africa 

Nigeria has very few women participating in politics. Only seven out of 109 senators and 22 of the 360 House of Representatives members are women. And only four out of 36 deputy governors are women. The country has never had a woman state governor. To create gender balance, the country's lower house - the house of representatives - is planning to create an additional 111 seats for women at the country's national assembly. Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, from The Conversation Africa, asked Damilola Agbalojobi, political scientist and gender specialist, for insights.

Source: Reuters

Kenyan judge Martha Koome has defended dissidents and helped to write women's rights into the constitution - now she's on track to be the first female chief justice in a country where the role is particularly sensitive.

Source: Nation 

The nomination of Justice Martha Koome for the position of Chief Justice marks yet another milestone in the evolution of the Judiciary. First, it institutionalises the constitutional provision of competitive recruitment of top judicial officers, a move intended to insulate the institution from extraneous influences.

Source: Front Page Africa

The National Executive Committee of the Liberty Party (LP) has resolved to implement a gender sensitive policy that would see both women and men gain equal seats for both elected and appointed positions.

Source: Nation 

Three women are among the ten candidates on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interview list for the position of Chief Justice (CJ).

The trio, Prof Patricia Mbote, Justice Martha Koome and Justice Alice Jepkoech Yano, have built their careers in their own rights in line with the legal profession.

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