Ringing up the Changes: Gender in Southern African Politics.
Where women are represented in politics in significant numbers and work in enabling environments, they make a marked difference to governance Governance makes decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists either of a separate process or of a specific part of management or leadership processes. Sometimes people set up a government to administer these processes and systems. , according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the first qualitative study of women in decision-making in Southern Africa
The study, based on interviews with 172 politicians in six Southern African countries, concludes that women's equal participation in decision-making is not just a democratic right, but is critical to more accountable and responsive governance.
Released by Gender Links in Johannesburg on 10 December 2003--International Human Rights Day--the book urges that the numbers argument for women's representation be accompanied by the growing evidence from Southern Africa of the difference women make.
In a foreword fore·word
A preface or an introductory note, as for a book, especially by a person other than the author.
an introductory statement to a book
Noun 1. to the book, the former Secretary General of the Fourth World Conference on Women The United Nations convened the Fourth World Conference on Women on September 4-15, 1995 in Beijing, China. Delegates had prepared a Platform for Action that aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women. , Tanzanian MP Gertrude Mongella Gertrude Ibengwe Mongella is the president of the Pan-African Parliament. She was born in 1945 in Ukerewe, Lake Victoria, Tanganyika, Tanzania. Early work
In 1970 President Mongella graduated from East Africa University in Dar es Salaam. says that "what is exciting about this research is not just the complex picture it paints and the way the authors (a combination of academics and journalists) allow the principal players to speak for themselves. It is the fact that it emanates from the developing world, and has been conceptualized, researched, written and produced from beginning to end by women in my region."
Justice Athalia Molokomme, a Botswana high court judge and former head of the SADC SADC Southern African Development Community
SADC State Agriculture Development Committee
SADC St Albans District Council (administrative authority for St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK)
SADC Sector Air Defense Commander Gender Unit adds: "This reader-friendly and yet analytical analytical, analytic
pertaining to or emanating from analysis.
control of confounding by analysis of the results of a trial or test. book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on gender and governance in Southern Africa. It could not have been more timely--the year 2005 has been identified by SADC as the deadline for countries to close the gender gap in politics."
In 1997, heads of state of the four-teen Southern African Development Community The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization. It furthers socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African countries. It complements the role of the African Union. (SADC) countries signed a Gender and Development Declaration in which they pledged to achieve a thirty percent representation of women in decision-making by 2005.
But so far only Seychelles (which recently dropped out of SADC), South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. and Mozambique have reached this target for women in politics. Three countries will not have elections again until after 2005. But nine SADC countries have elections between now and the end of 2005, making the timing of the book significant.
At 19.4 percent, the regional average for women in parliament is higher than the global average of 15.4 percent. Although there are vast differences between countries (for example from 5.7 percent in Mauritius to 30 percent in Mozambique) as a region Southern Africa ranks second only to the Nordic countries where the representation of women in parliament is concerned.
The relatively high levels of women in parliament in South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles, as well as local government in Namibia and cabinet in South Africa (where there are one third women, many in nontraditional posts) make it possible to start assessing the impact of women in decision-making in the region.
The visible ways in which women's participation in politics, especially in substantial numbers, is shown to make a difference in the study include:
* The marked difference between the style, procedures, norms and discourse in political institutions in the countries that have a high representation of women compared to those that do not.
* The link between the presence of a substantial proportion of women in decision-making and changes in the attitudes of men towards gender equality.
* The breadth and depth of gender justice reforms in countries that have achieved higher levels of women in parliament, and especially in those countries with a history of political struggle and progressive constitutions.
* The championing role that women in top decision-making positions have played in ensuring that gender is taken into account in policies and laws in mainstream portfolios like mining and agriculture.
* The support that women decision-makers have given to innovative approaches like the gender budgeting initiatives that have captured the imagination of the region and provide a potentially powerful tool for gender mainstreaming through tracking resource allocations resource allocation Managed care The constellation of activities and decisions which form the basis for prioritizing health care needs .
* The links made by women MPs between women constituents and parliament, and by women councillors in ensuring greater accessibility and responsiveness of service delivery.
The key finding of the study is that where a significant presence of women is combined with a range of enabling factors including a background and history of struggle, a democratic dispensation DISPENSATION. A relaxation of law for the benefit or advantage of an individual. In the United States, no power exists, except in the legislature, to dispense with law, and then it is not so much a dispensation as a change of the law. , dynamic links with civil society and ways to enhance the personal agency of decision-makers, there is a marked impact on institutional culture, attitudes, laws, policies, and service delivery.
An Irish girl.
[Irish Gaelic cailín, diminutive of caile, girl, from Old Irish. Lowe Morna (ed), Gender Links, Johannesburg
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