On 8 April 2011, the Republic of Djibouti held its third Presidential election since gaining independence from France in 1977i. With 152, 000 registered voter, voter turnout and the exact number of women voters is unclear there were no women candidateii. The competition took place between three male candidates.

With many countries in the SADC region striving to reach the 30% quota of women and improving the political participation and representation of women at the local and national level the election that general elections that took place in Zambia on February 20th, 2011 presents a rather unusual case study by diverging from the general trend.

Uganda is currently seen as a model country in relation to women's numerical participation in politics. With 24% women in parliament, Uganda’s high level of female representation in parliament is linked to the fact that in addition to the 214 county MPs, each of the 56 districts in Uganda elects one District Woman Representative to Parliament through separate women’s elections. i

Between the 9th and 15th of January 2011, the population of South Sudan was called to vote for unity or separation from Sudan, after years of internal conflict. The voter turnout of 60% that was required to validate the election was largely met and, in some regions, participation reached almost 100%. Approximately 98% of the voters voted in favor of independencei, which came into effect on 9 July 2011, and was accepted by the North.

Seychelles gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1976 and established a multi-party system in 1993. Domestic and international observers have since classified elections as being fair, free and transparent. Two elections took place in 2011 in the Seychelles: presidential in May and legislative in October. The turnout for both elections was high with 74% of voters casting their ballot for the national assembly elections and 85% during the presidential elections in May.

Since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975 until 1990, São Tomé was a single-party state, with restricted political rights. In 1990, voters approved a constitution that established a multi-party democracy. Since then, nine elections have taken place, which domestic and international observers have classified as generally free, fair and transparent.

Though politics in Rwanda have been dominated by the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) since the 1994 genocide, the country’s 2003 constitution includes measures aimed at strengthening multi-party representation in government structures. In the Senate (Sénat), 16 members are indirectly elected to serve 8-year terms and 8 members are appointed by the President to serve 8-year termsi.

Nigeria is the largest economy in West Africa and the third largest in Africa, and with a population of over 150 million, it is the most populous country on the continent. From April 9 to 26, 2011, Nigeria held parliamentary, presidential and governorship elections. Unfortunately the Independent National Election Commission, the body that oversees the country’s public office elections, did not issue any data about the number of women registered to vote.

On April 7, 2011, Mahamadou Issoufou of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigérien pour la Démocratie et le Socialisme – PNDS) began his presidential term in office after having defeated 10 other candidates for the position. This is Niger’s third transition from military to civilian rule since 1993.

Chad’s political history has been plagued since before its independence. Elections since the democratic constitution was approved in 1996 have been marred with difficulties. In 1995, President Idriss Déby unilaterally modified the constitution to remove the two-term limit on the presidency. The most recent elections saw some irregularities with the EU praising the elections as peaceful and a turning point for the country.

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