Namibia: Electoral reforms could pave way for a legislated quota for women at national level

Date: February 5, 2012
  • SHARE:

A significant increase in women’s representation in parliament could become a reality in Namibia’s next elections set for 2014 if the introduction of legislated quotas at national level is adopted.

The country is in the process of conducting public hearings as part of consultations on the proposed Electoral Law Reforms. This is an opportune time for gender activists to call for the adoption of a legislative quota system for national elections similar to what is in place at the local level.

The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development calls States to endeavour that; by 2015 at least 50% of decision-making positions in the public and private sectors are held by women including the use of affirmative action measures.

Namibia has chance to ensure that the legislated quota system in place at local level (30% seats reserved for women) gets applied to national level. Currently the country is doing consistently well at local government level where there is a high representation of women (42%).

On the contrary, in the absence of a legislated quota at national level performance has been intermittent. For example, the November 2009 parliamentary elections witnessed a significant drop in women representation from 30.8% to 23%.

Electoral laws are not restricted to the Electoral Act only, but include the Namibian Constitution; Local Authorities Act;   Regional Councils Act and Special Advisors (to the President) and Regional Governors Appointment Act

NANGOF Trust members and partners have called on civil society to make use of their regional branches, forums and representatives to attend the public hearings and make substantive inputs. Gender Links Namibia governance programme on Centres of Excellence Initiative for mainstreaming gender in local government is working with the Southern Africa Protocol Alliance plan on making submissions motivating for a quota to be introduced at national level.


Comment on Namibia: Electoral reforms could pave way for a legislated quota for women at national level

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *