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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The Hand that Stirs the Pot Can Also Run the Country': Electing Women to Parliament in Namibia
Author:Bauer, Gretchen
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:women parliamentarians
Women's Issues
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876136
Abstract:In early 2004, 29 percent of Namibian Members of Parliament were women, putting Namibia fourth in continental Africa and seventeenth worldwide in terms of women's representation in a national legislature. This article sets out to determine how such a high percentage of women has been elected to the National Assembly in Namibia since independence. It suggests that electoral gains have been achieved through a combination of factors: the use of a closed list proportional representation electoral system and voluntary quotas on the part of political parties at the national level, sustained pressure over the past three to five years from a nascent women's movement influenced by the global women's movement, and the active participation of women inside and outside the country in a protracted and violent struggle for independence that was only attained in 1990. The first two factors confirm past experience and accumulated knowledge on the significance of choice of electoral system and use of quotas, and the importance of women's organizations to elected women's legislative agendas and success. The last factor deviates from experience, and from a literature that suggests that women's active participation in political struggles has not always translated into tangible gains for women. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]