Gender Dynamics in Elections in Africa

Gender, an important concept in African elections, has been largely ignored,
yet the majority of voters tend to be women, while those who hold the
authority and are elected to political positions are mostly men. This article
examines the understanding of gender in the African context and analyses
the underlying causes of the gender paradox. Using a multi- inter- and
trans-disciplinary approach, the concept of gender is scrutinised within
the election cycle. Findings about gender dynamics drawn from African
nations showed that less than 30% of representatives in elected African
parliaments are women. The reasons for this gender disparity appear to
be deeply embedded in the historical and ideological traditions within the
political, economic and social dimensions of Africa’s development. The article
ends with the identification of barriers to entry for women candidates in
selected African countries. Strategies for transforming gender inequities in
elections are discussed.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Female representation, gender equality, Gender equity, Gender-based analysis, IEC, INEC CENI