South Africa misses the mark on gender parity for local elections in May

South Africa misses the mark on gender parity for local elections in May


Date: May 17, 2011
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Despite being a signatory to the SADC Gender Protocol that calls for gender parity in all areas of decision-making by 2015, an analysis of party lists by Gender Links shows that there is no province that has more than 40% women candidates.

Political parties candidates lists – by province and gender

The graph illustrates that the three provinces with the highest proportion of women as candidates are Gauteng (40%), Northwest (40%), and the Northern Cape (40%). The Western Cape has the lowest proportion of female candidates (33%). This is disappointing given that the female-led Democratic Alliance (DA) and Independent Democrats (ID) recently joined forces giving hope that there might be an increased amount of female representation.

South Africa has a mixed proportional representation or list system, and first past the post or candidate system for its local elections. The South African local government act urges but does not require parties to have women equally represented in their party and election lists.

With 47% women candidates the ANC came closest to meeting the 50/50 requirement, but other parties failed to follow suit. Exit polls showed the ANC support dropping considerably in this election, that has been fraught with service delivery challenges, from 66% to 52%. GL will be monitoring and commenting on the outcome of the local elections.

The full Gender Links report can be accessed here.

 


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