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Regional Trends for Women’s Electoral Success in the East African Legislatures

Ombati Mokua ()
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Ombati Mokua: Moi University, Sociology and Psychology Department, Kenya

Journal of Women's Entrepreneurship and Education, 2014, issue 1-2, 153-172

Abstract: Without formally enacted methodologies, it is increasingly clear that meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that stipulate gender equality and promote women’s empowerment would be extremely very difficult. Specifically, MDG 3 underlines the fact that women need to be politically empowered by far greater participation if greater equality has to be achieved. Under this goal, countries are expected to formulate deliberate policies that ensure equal representation between men and women in all decision-making levels including politics. It is on this note therefore, that countries in the East African region have enacted constitutional, legislative and electoral requirements providing for the principle of gender quotas as a policy measure for boosting women’s access to their legislatures. Based on a critical analysis of official reports, related literature and data provided by national parliaments, this investigation examines the gender composition of five legislatures in the East African region namely, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and Kenya. The study underlines the power of gender quotas in expediting and equalizing significant gender imbalances, and alsocaptures the types and nature of quotas used by individual countries. While appreciating the challenges involved in underwriting the affirmative action mechanisms, the analyses notes that affirmative action is not a slogan for politics but a strategy for development; it is a gigantic plan of action for achieving the desired social change.

Keywords: Electoral gender quotas; women in East African legislatures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H11 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ibg:jwejou:y:2014:i:1-2:p:153-172