One of the persistent democratic deficits throughout the world is women’s lack of influence in politics. In relation to political parties in particular, the voice of women in decision-making remains insufficient, and, in some cases, is non-existent.

This report is based on the findings of a two-year project implemented by International IDEA, aimed at analysing the commitments of political parties to gender equality in 33 countries in Africa.

One of the key findings from this research is that, although 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.


Publication date
01 March 2014
Rumbidzai Kandawasvika-Nhundu
Number of pages
978-91-87729-05-8 (Print)




Executive Summary


1. Gender equality provisions in national constitutions

2. Gender equality in political parties’ policy documents

3. Legislated quotas and political party measures

4. The status of women’s structures within parties

5. International and regional instruments

Conclusions and recommendations

References and further reading

Annex A: List of political parties included in this analysis

About International IDEA

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Political Parties in Africa through a Gender Lens

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