1. Part I. Women in Decision Making Positions in Africa


The IPU claims that women are underrepresented in all national legislative bodies. A 130-country survey conducted by the IPU indicates that women hold an average of only 15.4 per cent of the elected seats. A 1995 report issued by the UNDP concluded that 30 per cent would be the minimum representation required for women as a group to exert a meaningful influence in legislative assemblies. Only 15 of the countries included in the IPU survey have achieved this level and three are Rwanda (48.8 %), South Africa (32.8 %) and Mozambique (30 %), demonstrating how electoral measures instituted as part of peace processes can improve women’s representation.

The IGAD Women Parliamentary Conference, the first of its kind, was held in Addis Ababa between 14th and 16th December 2009 with a view to develop a strategy that will enhance women’s participation and representation in decision-making. Representative Women Members of Parliament and Leaders of Women Organisations attended it from six of the IGAD member states [Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda] as well as representatives from the African Union Com- mission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. During the three-day conference, the distinguished participants deliberated on the current status of women in decision-making positions in the member states with specific focus on the role of political parties, constitutional provisions, the quota systems, local governments and the role of the executive in ensuring the 50/50 target by 2015.

In addition, the conference examined the situational assessment of women in decision-making in member states, best practices, and the human rights approach and recommended the development of a regional strategy to advance women’s participation in decision-making … this questionnaire represents part of the tools to be used for the development of the regional strategy

Please return the completed questionnaire to costy@costantinos.net