News / Africa

    IPU: Women Wield Too Little Political Power

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Christian Democratic Union deputy head Julia Kloeckner attend a CDU campaign rally in Landau, Germany, Feb. 22, 2016. Worldwide last year, the number of women parliamentarians increased by a slight 0.5 percent in 58 national elections.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Christian Democratic Union deputy head Julia Kloeckner attend a CDU campaign rally in Landau, Germany, Feb. 22, 2016. Worldwide last year, the number of women parliamentarians increased by a slight 0.5 percent in 58 national elections.
    Lisa Schlein

    As the world marks International Women’s Day, a new report finds females globally wield little political power, hampering efforts to bring about positive social and economic change for women.

    The Inter-Parliamentary Union's release of its "Women in Parliament 2015: The Year in Review" report here showed women’s participation in parliament has plateaued for the second year in a row. Last year, the number of female parliamentarians increased by a low 0.5 percent in 58 national elections, to reach 22.6 percent globally.

    At this snail’s pace, IPU Director of Programs Kareen Jabre said, women will not reach the 2030 target for equality as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. In contrast, she said, more progress has been made concerning women parliamentary leaders, with nearly 18 percent of parliaments today being led by women speakers.

    Jabre cited the three most recent countries to choose women speakers: Nepal, Namibia and the United Arab Emirates. Nepal "is quite emblematic after the adoption of the constitution in the country," she said. She also noted the UAE "is the first Arab country to have a woman speaker of Parliament."

    The report finds Latin America, with more than 27 percent of women in parliament, has made the most progress, with sub-Saharan Africa not far behind. Though a number of African countries' elections have been marred by violence and conflict, the IPU says women members of parliament have increased their numbers by 0.7 percent to reach 23.2 percent.

    FILE - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner smiles during a ceremony on her last day in office at the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 9, 2015.
    FILE - Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner smiles during a ceremony on her last day in office at the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 9, 2015.

    Jabre said the most progress has been made in Ethiopia and Tanzania due to quotas and other political incentives.

    She cited "another interesting initiative" in Africa: "In Benin, we have noticed a very innovative campaign to encourage young women’s political participation through social media.”

    As in previous years, Rwanda has the highest proportion of female parliamentarians, with 65 percent of seats held by women.

    Overall, quotas remain among the main tools for achieving progress in boosting the number of women MPs, the IPU says, adding they must be quotas with teeth. It says sanctions must be applied and enforced where quota provisions are ignored. Otherwise, it warns, women will not be elected in large numbers. 

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    March 08, 2016 10:43 PM
    Feminazi's.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora