Constitutional Provisions and Enhancing Participation of Women in Elections


Ndulo, Muna. 2004. “Constitutional Provisions and Enhancing Participation of Women in Elections.” Paper presented at United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) Expert Group Meeting on Enhancing Women's Participation in Electoral Processes in Post-Conflict Countries, Glen Cove, January 19-22.

Author: Muna Ndulo


In most parts of the world and in countries of differing economic levels of development, a huge problem remains in ensuring the full participation of women in the political process. Although women are underrepresented in the political process in most countries, the situations tends to be worse in post-conflict societies. In post conflict societies, while women endure the same trauma as the rest of the population, they are disproportionally harmed /affected by literacy rates, poverty, violence and gender-role stereotyping. This paper discusses the participation of women in post conflict societies from a perspective of the legislative measures that can be taken to enhance the participation of women. It also considers non legislative measures such as the role of the media. The paper first provides a background on constitutional provisions relevant to elections, next examines the participation of women in elections and the problems they face in their efforts to participate in the elections. It then considers legislative approaches that have been taken in several countries to increase women participation. It ends with a conclusion that focuses on the chances of achieving the objective of improving women participation in elections.

Keywords: women in politics, political participation, post-conflict, elections, legislation

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Elections, Political Participation, Post-Conflict

Year: 2004

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