Video: Engendering Political Leadership

Video: Engendering Political Leadership


Video: Engendering Political Leadership

Eddah Gachukia, Janet Semple, Julia Ojambo, Joan Mjomba

Over the last 50 years, many African countries have established national gender machineries and implemented quota systems to accelerate the entrance of women representatives into formal political institutions. The results of this are striking: while in 1960 only 1% of Africa’s political representatives were women, in 2009, this figure is closer to 20%.

However, achieving “critical mass”, and establishing gender machineries have not consistently translated into governance that is more gender sensitive – that actively works to correct social, economic and cultural power imbalances. Women largely carry the burden of poverty and care work, while retaining very little access to decision making power, both privately and publicly. Gender based violence is widespread, as are cultural practices that privilege tradition over women’s equity.

In response to this, and as a capacity building measure both for partners and themselves, three of HBF’s Africa offices – South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria – have embarked on a 2 year learning project to critically reflect on their countries’ instruments to advance gender sensitive political governance – as well as promote it.

The project’s main output will be 3 learning forums, one in each of the partner countries, that will bring together feminist academics, activists and political actors for exchange and reflection on engendering leadership in Africa. The video profiles included on this page comprise one of the learning tools that will be employed in these forums and beyond: the stories of 9 African women politicians who, under different conditions, political systems, and in their own way, have tried to use their political platforms to advance women’s rights. The videos aim to foster debate about how they have navigated political and personal challenges.

The videos featured on this page are only the first in the series. They feature 3 women from Kenya (Julia Ojambo, Eddah Gachukia, Joan Mjomba) and the first complete profile from South Africa (Janet Semple). These will be followed by profiles of Lynne Browne (Leader of the ANC, Western Cape, South Africa), Inna Ciroma, Nkoyo Toyo and Hajiya Najatu Muhammed (all Nigeria).

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