On 11 March 2014, the publication Political Parties in Africa through a Gender Lens was launched at an International IDEA side event on “Women’s Political Participation and Representation – Making Development Sustainable, Making Governance Responsive” at the United Nations Headquarters, during the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Over the last two years, International IDEA worked with national gender advocates and practitioners in 33 African countries to analyze the constitutions, manifestos and strategy documents of political parties in order to determine their stated commitments for promoting gender equality and women's political participation and representation.
The publication documents the findings of the study across 214 African political parties. In particular, the study analyzed the following areas of parties documents:
- gender equality in political parties’ policy documents;
- legislated quotas and political party measures, and
- the status of women’s structures/wings within parties.
- In addition, the study reviews gender equality commitment in national constitutions and laws in these countries and their congruence to key international and regional instruments promoting gender equality and gender balance in political life. As the findings of the study indicate, although almost half of the political parties’ constitutions and manifestos contain general gender equality commitments, their utility is limited by the lack of concrete measures to ensure that commitments are translated into effective actions and outcomes.
From the left: Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN; Charles Ntwaagae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN; María del Carmen Alanís Figueroa, Magistrate, Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico; and Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu, IDEA
Participants at the International IDEA’s side event, 11 March 2014