Where women are represented in politics in significant numbers and work enabling environments, they make a marked difference to governance, according to the first qualitative study of women in decision-making in Southern Africa.
The study, based on interviews with 172 politicians in six Southern African countries concludes that women’s equal participation in decision-making is not just a democratic right, but is critical to more accountable and responsive governance.
In a foreword to the book, the former Secretary General of the Fourth World Conference on Women, and Tanzanian MP Gertrude Mongella says that
“what is exciting about this research is not just the complex picture it paints and the way the authors (a combination of academics and journalists) allow the principal players to speak for themselves. It is the fact that it emanates from the developing world, and has been conceptualized, researched, written and produced from beginning to end by women in my region.”
Justice Athalia Molokomme, a Botswana high court judge and former head of SADC Gender Unit adds:
“This reader-friendly and yet analytical book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on gender and governance in Southern Africa. It could not have been more timely – the year 2005 has been identified by SADC as the deadline for countries to close the gender gap in politics.”
A rich source of information presented with wit, humour and a feast of anecdotes. A must have for all those who believe in democracy and strive for a better world.