Malians went to the polls on 24th November 2013 to vote in parliamentary elections. There were 147 seats up for grabs in the National Assembly, and 6 million registered voters.

Voter turn out is said to have been low though, compared to the presidential elections 3 months ago in July 2013 that saw Ibrahim Boubacar Keita elected as the new president of Mali.

Mali has faced unrest since early 2012 when   secessionist Tuareg rebes linked to al qaeda attacked the north of the country forcing around 500,000 people to flee their homes.[1] In March 2012, the then president Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted in a coup. Due to the unrest, France intervened in January 2013 by sending 4500 troops to assist the Malian army in fighting the rebels. The government of Mali and the rebels signed a peace agreement in June 2013, thus paving way for presidential and parliamentary elections.

Women Political Participation

Mali has a unicameral parliament, with 147 members directly elected every five years. [2] The last parliamentary elections were held in 2007 where out of 1408 candidates, 227 were women. Only 15 women were elected out of the 147 members of the national assembly accounting for 10.20%.[3]

Women representation in parliament is at only 10% and 8 % at the local government level.[4]

Malian women have however been able to contest at the highest levels of government with one women contesting in the 2007 presidential elections. She however, managed to get less than 1% of the total vote. This is indicative of the struggle women politicians still have to go through in Mali in competitive politics. 

Mali does not have a quota system in place to ensure the effectiveness of women political participation. The government had proposed a 30 per cent quota for women on party list candidates in 2006 but this was rejected during a contentious debate in parliament and as a result the electoral law was passed without a provision on quotas.[5]

Due to the unrest that has been going on in the country since 2012, women have suffered tremendous setbacks. UN Women in an effort to address this set up a ‘Gender and Election” strategy and action plan in May 2013 to increase women’s political participation and representation between 2012-2015.[6] As we await the results from the just concluded parliamentary elections, the number of women elected should be indicative of whether female participation and representation is on the right track to being realized.

Women political Representation Statistics


Women Political Representation

As of 2007

As of 2013

Female Members of Parliament








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