Rounding the Tables of Legislative Decision Making: Explanations for the Increased Presence of Women in Sub-saharan African Politics

By Kimberly S. Adams.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

From December 2001, to January 31, 2011, the national average for women serving in the lower chambers of national parliaments in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 12.4 percent to 19.3 percent. The implementation of gender quotas provides the most compelling explanation for this seven percent average increase in the share of females in sub-Saharan African parliaments within a decade. Using
updated data, I refine and combine political, socioeconomic and cultural variables developed and used in prior works to determine factors that, in addition to gender quotas, are significant in explaining the increased percentage of women serving in the national parliaments of 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. My findings show that the type of quota, the size of the legislature, the electoral system, the timing of universal female suffrage, the share of women in the paid labor force, religion (Catholicism), and of course, the adoption of quotas, significantly affects the percentage of women serving in the lower chambers of parliaments of sub-Saharan Africa

Keywords: Women in National Parliament, Females in African Parliament, Female Representation in Africa

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp.45-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.006MB).

Dr. Kimberly S. Adams

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

Dr. Kimberly S. Adams is the President and Managing Director of Adams Political Research & Consulting. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Political Science at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Adams’ areas of teaching include American National Government, Women and Politics, Race and Ethnicity in American Politics, Political Parties, Political Communication, the Institutions of Government, and Political Behavior. Dr. Adams’ research explores the agenda setting behavior of non-traditional legislators (i.e. - women and African-Americans). She has presented academic papers on women and politics at the state, national and international levels.


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