Women’s suffrage came into force in 1975, which brought about women’s active rights to vote and passive right to vote, this means that women were able to vote and stand for elections respectively.i To date no woman has been elected Prime Minister or President.

Presidential elections took place on the 7th August 2011 showing that the number of women elected to the national assembly is gradually rising with 15.3% in 2006 and 20.80% in 2011.ii

The 1999 Electoral Code includes measures aimed at promoting women’s political participation, yet the Electoral Code lacks implementation.iii Under the Electoral law, the State provides a subsidy to political parties that have successfully elected at least 25 per cent of women in both national and municipal levels. Despite the law, women continue to be underrepresented and only few seek public office.iv

Nevertheless, the Cape Verdean government is making strides to include more women in the political process. In the last few years, women’s political participation has been a central concern for the government of Cape Verde, namely a number of government programmes initiated through the Institute for Gender and Equality and Equity (ICIEG). The ICIEG has elaborated and implemented the First National Plan for the Promotion of Women 1997 -2000. In 2004, the main objective of the second National Plan for Gender Equality and Equity (2005-2009) was to democratize the system of power and gender relations, promoting equal opportunities at all levels and also promoting a qualitative change of behaviors and attitudes.v

Women’s Political Participation Recent Statistics



2006 Presidential & Parliamentary Elections

2011 Presidential Parliamentary Elections

Female Presidential Candidates

0/2 vi

0/4 vii

Females Securing Lower or single House Seats

11/72 seats or 15.3% viii

15/72 seats or 20.80%ix

Females Securing Upper House or Senate Seats









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