Ethiopian Business Review

Top 10 African Countries with Women in Parliaments*

Just like any part of the world, women comprise half of the population in Africa. Although this means they ought to make up half of all structures responsible for making decisions on behalf of societies, this has been more a dream than a reality in the past. However, this trend has been changing in recent years, as the information obtained from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a global organization of national parliaments, reveals.

Countries like South Africa, Senegal and Namibia have been ranked on top, not only in Africa, but also worldwide in terms of putting the most women in parliament, both in lower and upper houses. Many African countries are attempting to ensure that women are fairly represented in decision making processes, which in turn, enhances perceptions about the legitimacy of legislators. For instance, in South Africa, the voluntary adoption of quotas by the African National Congress has been very successful in increasing women’s political representation in the last decade.

Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, has also made great strides in ensuring fairer representation of interests, demands and gender equality in office. There are 212 women in the House of Peoples’ Representatives (lower house), which is 38.8Pct of the total 547 seats. On the other hand, women account for 32Pct of the 153 total seats in the House of Federation (upper house).

It is not only in the legislative body that fair representation has been gaining momentum in Ethiopia. Recently, the administration of Abiy Ahmed (PhD) introduced a new cabinet that is half female. The new cabinet even has women in the top security posts for the first time in Ethiopia’s history. For instance, Aisha Mohammed became Minister of Defense while Muferiat Kamil is heading the newly formed Ministry of Peace. EBR

Rank

Country

Percentage of Seats Held by WomenTotal Number of SeatsNumber of Seats Held by Women
1

South Africa

41.9

447

187

2

Senegal

41.8

165

69

3

Namibia

39.7

146

58

4

Mozambique

39.6

250

99

5

Burundi

38.9

160

62

6

Ethiopia

37.3

700

260

7

Tanzania

37.2

390

145

8

Rwanda

36.7

106

39

9

Uganda

34.3

449

154

10

Zimbabwe

34.2

350

120

 Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union

* As of 1st December 2018


8th Year • Mar.16 - Apr.15 2019 • No. 72


 

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