Reference : Actualising women’s participation in politics and governance in Africa: The case of K...
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Actualising women’s participation in politics and governance in Africa: The case of Kenya and Ghana
Owiso, Owiso* mailto [Université de Genève - UNIGE]
Sefah, Bright* mailto [African Union Commission]
* These authors have contributed equally to this work.
African Human Rights Yearbook
Pretoria University Law Press
South Africa
[en] Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women ; Maputo Protocol ; political participation ; women ; Africa ; equality
[en] Almost two decades into the 21st century, women are still not accorded a place of prominence in politics and governance, particularly in Africa. Using the examples of Kenya and Ghana, this article undertakes a critical analysis of the implementation of women’s right to participation in political and decision-making processes in Africa with a view to highlighting progress made, challenges faced and possible solutions to these challenges. Women’s right to participation in political life is enshrined in article 9 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (African Women’s Rights Protocol). The article argues that while some progress has been made towards implementing the above right, much more still needs to be done to achieve effective and transformative participation by women. The progress revealed is mainly in the domestication by national laws of the relevant international obligations. However, the article also notes a significant disconnect between the normative framework and actual participation of women. The two case studies expose an unimpressive lack of political will and persistent societal perceptions, together contributing to the failure to move beyond codification of laws to improvements in actual practice. With lessons learnt from these two countries, this article argues for collaborative effort among African countries to promote genuine intra-Africa learning allowing African states to share experiences, consolidate gains and innovate around common challenges. By so doing, African states can consolidate efforts towards breaking the current inertia and accelerate the actual implementation of article 9 of the African Women’s Rights Protocol. Overall, the article cast a spotlight on the need to refocus debates from standard-setting to actual implementation necessary to achieve transformative equality.
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria ; African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights ; African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights ; African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public

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