Women in politics in Africa: Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa (Scholarship Essay Sample)
THE TASK WAS ABOUT THE WOMEN IN AFRICA SPECIFICALLY KENYA, RWANDA AND SOUTH AFRICA THAT HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY IN POLITICS. THE CONTENT ENTAILS HOW DIFFERENT WOMEN FROM THE ABOVE MENTIONED COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN AND ARE IN POLITICS. IT ALSO EXPLAINS HOW THESE WOMEN HAVE FOUGHT TO BE IN POLITICS AND WHAT THEY GO THROUGH.THE PAPER IS IN TIMES NEW ROMAN FONT 12 AND IT IS 1.5 SPACEDsource..
Women in politics in Africa: Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa
Traditionally, women in Africa go through exclusion from many of the structures if state involved in determining legislative and political priorities. However, it is worth noting that Africa has witnessed and escalation in the levels of female political representation. African women continue to make significant treads in in their political participation, even though a worldwide colossal gap still exists. It happens in many countries that women have gargantuan task before they are acknowledge as partners and full equals in comparison to their male counterparts. Sampling women political representation in Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa, this is an area ripe for research with great room for further development of literature on the subject.
The Rwandan experience proves that it is a landmark in Africa and the world as well as for democracy globally (Powley, 2005). Other nations such as South Africa are worth noting for their high level of womenâ€™s representation in their parliaments. The women in these nations prove that indeed there are changes in the emerging trends in the women participation in the politics of Africa. The recent trends in the levels of women participation have resulted in an increase in the levels of women influence in their nationâ€™s political issues from various diverse angles. Women continue to have a lot of influence in the processes involved in making the constitution. South Africa is among these nations with women taking a major role and a very vigorous role in the processes of drafting the constitution in South Africa. This guarantees that women have rights to freedom and security, right to equality, and the right to make suitable decisions concerning issues of reproduction. Women such as Wangari Maathai and Charity Ngilu in Kenya emerge as some of the fiercest opponents of issues such as patronage politics and corruption in their country showing that women take seriously the political role they play in their country (Ndlovu & Mutale, 2013). It is important to explore more examples of women who have achieved success in their quest to have political representation.
More so, democratization and the shift towards the ideologies of multi-party systems in the named African countries and in Africa promoted an increase in womenâ€™s political participation. The use of multiparty systems pushed the competing political parties to push for many agendas including expansion on women participation in politics. One crucial element of this shift of the nations to a multi-party system is the formation of the political parties by many women in politics. There is a literature gap in the role that women played seeking multiparty governments in Kenya.
Today, Rwanda claimed one of the highest rations in women parliamentarians in 2003 with women holding about 64% of the nationâ€™s legislative seats (Tripp, 2001). Women continue to take over key ministerial positions in finance, defense, and foreign affairs such as Amina Mohammed of Kenya in the foreign affairs docket. Today, the defense ministry in South Africa is under Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, a woman. For a country that has for lo long been synonymous with democide, Rwanda, with these developments now stands tall among the nations in Africa with its high women representatives in politics and law making processes. By doing this, Rwanda fulfilled the MDG Goal 3 calling for gender equality and empowerment along with the African Union 50-50 declaration, which the heads of state committed themselves to representing their countries. Global surveys show that even though many African countries introduce policies and laws on women empowerment and gender equality, with some rectifying protocols and instruments alike, many of them are yet to domesticate the protocols into their national laws. At 57%, women comprise more than half of the Rwandese population and the high representation of women in parliament is necessary (Devlin & Elgie, 2008). It is important to evaluate and document the different levels of fulfillment of MGDs and other requirements by intergovernmental organizations and the role that they play and have played to the success of women achieving roles in political roles.
Presently, Kenyaâ€™s population stands at an estimate of more than thirty million with women forming slightly more than half of this population. This makes them the majority voters in civic and parliamentary elections. Since the period before independence, Kenyan women have had a very active role in the nationâ€™s social, economic, and political matters. In politics, they have continued to exert their influence as voters, in the capacities of political parties with others playing cheer leading roles for the men during political contests at different times during the countryâ€™s political history.
However, in Kenya, their direct role in the processes of decision-making is still minimal especially during the years after the nation gaining its independence. Despite their high involvement in the nationâ€™s economic development, women in Kenya fail to translate this power into political power and authority. To blame for this may be that there are structural imbalances that are inherent in this society discriminating against women, making it difficult for them to follow their cause and their quest for leadership. Kenya also has a lot of cultural stereotyping against her women, and being a country with more than 43 tribes, there is a wide variety of these cultural stereotypes (Nzomo, 1997). This makes the perception of women holing leadership positions being awkward and negative. It then perpetuates and buttresses inequality in the society even in areas where there are laws to prevent inequality. There is need to evaluate the role that culture plays in this young republic and the necessary changes.
The likes of Professor Julia Ojiambo participated in major roles and actions to free Kenya from the KANU single-party regime to a multi-party system where the likes of Justice Njoki Ndunâ€™gu now operate in a nation where the inclusion of women in any position, is a requirement of the law. Grace Ogot tells a story of the importance of family for a woman seeking to make it in political professions that are highly dominated by men.
It is important to recognize South Africa, which has had a significant increment in women representat...