African parliament provides a window of opportunity, La Gazette de Maurice

Date: January 1, 1970
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The African parliament provides a window of opportunity to put gender on the AU agenda.

This article may be used to:
  • Get information on the structures within the African Union parliament that may be used to mainstream gender.

Trainer’s notes

The article looks at the structures and functions of the African Union provide opportunities to mainstream gender. The piece provides comprehensive information on the official avenues available to mainstream gender. There are important links between the AU parliament’s mandate to uphold democratic principles and human rights and therefore the necessity to include women in structures and issues of gender in the programme.
An interesting angle to the story would have been to add a section the proportion of women in different African governments and the urgent need to grow these numbers. There is mention made of the fact that there are no women in the AU assembly because there is no woman head of state. This fact is not challenged. 
The article is written in formal language and makes reference to many official declarations and structures. These aren’t unpacked in a simple and accessible language. Some of the article is in written in the form of rhetoric. Also, nothing is written about the impact on how these structures on women’s lives on the ground.
Training exercises
Exercise one: Discuss the following:
  1. Has your government committed to increasing the number of women in government? If yes, have they reached their quota? If no, what do you think are the reasons for the quota not being reached?
  2. How do the media cover women politicians? How can the coverage be improved?
Exercise two: Read the article and rewrite the story by considering the following questions:
  1. How would you change the angle and language of the story to make it less ‘official’?
  2. Look at what information could be added to the story?
  3. Whose voices are missing and how would you integrate them into the story?

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