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Politics In Africa


African politics initially was known to be men’s battle for power and authority. However, in the past, women seem to have ventured and gained ground in politics. The increase of number of women participating in politics is one of the most captivating developments in African politics since nineteen nineties. Women have become more dominant in different political positions in local government, national parliament and even executive committee which were previously dominated by their male counterparts.

Women and African Politics

Today, African is the leading continent with the highest rate of women representatives in parliament across the globe. Rwanda, for instance, in 2003 had highest ratio of women representative in the national assembly. At present, women holding legislative seats in Rwandan government are approximated to be sixty four percent. In other African countries such as South Africa, Seychelles and Senegal, women are believed to hold over forty percent of parliamentary seats, while Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and Mozambique have over thirty five percent women in legislative positions.

Moreover, the parliamentary patterns in other area are as well evident. In 2005, Ellen Johnson-sir-leaf was elected the first woman president in Africa, and most recently, Joyce Banda was as well voted president in Malawi. Further, since 1993, Africa has had nine female prime ministers. Africa has had twelve vice presidents since 1975. Today, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Mauritius, and Gambia have female vice president. Almost in all African parliaments, there is a fifth of women representative holding the position of parliamentary speaker, which is above average of fourteen percent.

The Strength of Women in Politics

Women are as well taking over key ministries in African governments such finance, defense and foreign affairs, which is a fascinating break from previous days where women were given the so-called “softer” ministries such as sports, youth, community development and education. Presently, Nigeria has female minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala while South African, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqukula serves as minister for defense.

Similarly, women have gain influence in regional African politics, holding approximately fifty percent of the parliamentary seats in the African union. For instance, Gertrude Mongella was elected the first female president of the Pan African Parliament, while Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma of South Africa was voted the chair of the African union commission in 2012. In fact, African politics have entered a new channel and it is no longer a battle for men but for both men and women. Africans have also awakened from their dead sleep and began to recognize the strength of a woman. As they say, “what men can do, a woman can do better”

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