"Issues of gender have always, and continue to, inhibit women from access to public office. With the increase of gender mainstreaming and struggle for equality, the internntional community has become increasingly aware of the absence of women in politics. The aims of this dissertation is not only, however, to be conscious of women's absence in politics, but to also take steps to redefine sound strategies to implement gender equality in terms of the political participation of women on the part of governments. This dissertation will focus on the place accorded to South African women in relation to the consolidation of a fairly new democracy, compared and contrasted to the struggle of their Cameroonian counterparts within the context of a much older democracy. Moreover, ratified conventional instruments as well as domestic constitutional dispositions currently in force in Cameroon dictate gender equality, thus calling for the implementation of special measures to enhance the participation of women. Yet, there have been no serious efforts on the part of Cameroon to revise or abrogate numerous coexisting discriminatory provisions and practices that perpetrate systematic discrimination against women in various ways within existing institutions. ... Chapter one sets out the scope of the study through the identification of the research problem and outlines the chosen methodology. This chapter also states the aims and objectives of the paper as well as its limitations. Chapter two considers the international and regional provisions governing women's rights. The main aim of this chapter is to recoup dispositions in human rights instruments with specific reference to gender equality and the participation of women in public life. Chapter three gives a historical backdrop of the participation of women in politics in both countries and sets out the domestic and constitutional provisions that relate to the status of women in politics in both Cameroon and South Africa. It also contains case studies to elucidate the particular challenges faced by women in these two countries. Chapter four analyses the extent to which Cameroon and South Africa have complied with international, regional as well as national human rights standards pertaining to women's political participation rights. The final chapter will contain conclusions and recommendations." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Letitia van der Poll, Faculty of Law of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.