Africa: Women from P♂lls to P♀lls

Burundian Women Want a Greater Say in Running of Country

As Burundi heads towards the 2015 general elections, and despite a quota of 30 percent women’s representation in parliament, women in this southeast African nation feel that they are yet to have a significant say in the management of their country.

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda Gains Support for ‘Fraudulent Election’ Recount

When Malawi's President Joyce Banda said that last week's elections were fraudulent and riddled with rampant irregularities, social media went viral calling her a loser. 

Q&A: Malawi’s President Banda Confident ‘I Will Win this Election’

Malawi's President Joyce Banda is campaigning ahead of next month's elections to extend her term of office. But many believe that the massive public service corruption scandal here has weakened her chances of winning.

On 20th Anniversary of Genocide, Rwanda’s Women Lead

When Rwandan Member of Parliament Veneranda Nyirahirwa was just a girl, she wasn’t allowed to attend secondary school because of her ethnicity. 

The Gambia’s Women Demand a Seat at the Political Table

The countdown to the Gambia’s 2016 general elections has begun with a rare move to bring together female politicians from across the divided political spectrum to ensure increased female representation.

Swazi Chiefs Shut Women Out of Parliament

Archaic and chauvinistic practices are being used to prevent Swazi women from taking part in the upcoming primary elections, despite the country having a constitution that guarantees their rights, says political analyst Dr. Sikelela Dlamini.

Woman President Shows Malawi the Way

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda knows a thing or two about women’s empowerment. After all she is the first female southern African head of state.

Sudan Hits Hard at Female Activists

More and more of Sudan’s female politicians and rights activists are being arrested and detained in the government’s clampdown on opposition political parties.

Women in Zimbabwe’s Parliament Will Change Widow’s Lives

When Maude Taruvinga* votes in Zimbabwe’s elections later this year, she will be voting for her local female politician as she has placed her hopes for a better future on the presence of more women in this southern African nation’s legislature.

Looking to Cameroon’s Women Senators

Marlyse Aboui, a 40-year-old nurse, has still not gotten over the astonishment she felt when she heard that Cameroon’s President Paul Biya had nominated her to the senate.

Treason Case May Fuel Unrest in Malawi

Malawi’s first-ever tripartite elections in May 2014 will be a litmus test for President Joyce Banda, who is faced with an opposition majority in parliament, soaring food prices, and a potential treason trial.

Voting Will Change the Lives of Zimbabwe’s Women

“Ten reasons why women must vote ‘Yes’ for the draft constitution…” says the Constitution Select Committee’s campaign radio jingle that plays over the airwaves in a grocer’s store at Mukumbura border post business centre on Zimbabwe’s northeastern border with Mozambique.

Kenya’s Electoral Opinion Polling Marred by Suspicion

When Kenya’s only female presidential candidate, Martha Karua, dismissed electoral opinion pollsters who claimed that she stood a mere one percent chance of being elected to office, many said she did so because the results had not favoured her. 

Power Sharing a “Dangerous Concept” for Kenya’s Democracy

Days ahead of Kenya’s general elections, the country’s former deputy Minister of Information Koigi Wamwere has slammed calls for power-sharing among minority ethnic groups in the next government, calling it a “dangerous concept”.

Women Navigate Political Minefield in Kenya

Few women in Kenya harbour illusions of entering politics. Blatant discrimination, threats and intimidations, an uneven playing field and a largely unsympathetic public have turned electoral politics into a veritable minefield for women hoping to secure top government posts.

The Race for a Peaceful Election

Runners Hosea Nailel and Julius Muriuki, who are from Kenya’s rival ethnic Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities respectively, met during a half marathon when they broke away from the pack and remained in the leading group. 

No Women, No Elections

Kenya’s rights activists are furious that the country’s highest court “violated” women’s constitutional rights by ruling against the implementation of a gender quota in parliament ahead of the 2013 general elections.

Tough Foreign Policy Challenges for Somalia’s “Iron Lady”

As little-known politician Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan was sworn in as Somalia's first female foreign minister and deputy prime minister on Monday Nov. 19, the stateswoman who hails from the unrecognised, self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland is tipped to become the country’s “Iron Lady”.


Keeping the Veil on Women’s Electoral Participation

Cameroon’s new biometric registration of voters may end up disenfranchising many potential voters, especially women in the country’s predominantly Muslim north where cultural practices may prevent them from having their photos taken.

Sierra Leone – Women Shoot Themselves in the Foot in Elections

Only 38 women - of a total of 586 candidates - will contest parliamentary seats in Sierra Leone’s November elections, and the blame for this can be laid squarely on the shoulders of the current group of female lawmakers, according to Barbara Bangura, the director of the women’s organisation Grassroots Empowerment for Self Reliance.

Q&A: Kenyan Women Set to Take on Men in Elections

As Kenya gets ready for voter registration this month, ahead of the country’s Mar. 4, 2013 polls, women’s rights organisations are hoping that the provisions for gender equality in the new constitution will mean significantly increased representation in the government.

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