"This study is predicated on a strong belief that the gender make-up of African parliamnets must relfect the gender demographics of African states. It is only when that is achieved that the concepts of equality, non-discrimination and democracy can gain their true meaning. As a departure point, the study makes a case that statistically women are under-represented across the overwhelming majority of African parliaments. The study asserts that the under-representation is prevalent amid the existence of international, regional and domestic instruments, all providing for women's right to representation in decision-making processes. Thus, the study demonstrates that there is a gap between de jure and de facto representation. The study then argues that the convoluted ideology of patriarchy, sacrosanct cultures, inviolable religions, the constructed public/private dichotomy, low levels of education, and the negative impact of globalisation all act in concert to deny African women their rightful place in decision-making institutions, particluarly parliaments. In a bid to investigate how this can be reserved, the study explores the Rwandan and South African models for purposes of gaining insights on how they have contrived to reach and surpass the critical mass of women in their parliaments. These two models demonstrate that a combination of temporary special measures and gender mainstreaming are effective tools for emancipating women and ensuring their representation in parliaments. These have to be buttressed by strong legal and institutioanl frameworks, which operate in a conducive socio-political environment." -- Abstract.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2006.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Ben Twinomugisha at the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), Makerere University, Faculty of Law, Kampala, Uganda