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Top 10 African countries with the lowest percentage of women in parliament 2024 

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Women in Africa Politics

The pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 depends significantly on achieving women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public spheres.  

However, recent data show an opposing reality: women remain severely underrepresented across all levels of decision-making worldwide, highlighting a substantial gap in achieving gender parity in political life. 

In dissecting the three arms of government – legislative, executive, and judicial – the pivotal role of parliaments, an assembly of representatives of a political nation, as the supreme legislative authority emerges prominently.  

According to the United Nations Women’s Organisation, only 26.5 percent of parliamentarians in single or lower houses globally are women currently, marking a modest increase from 11 percent recorded in 1995. 

In Africa, the pursuit of gender parity in political representation has seen varied approaches, with a predominant reliance on special measures like quotas to elevate women’s participation in parliamentary affairs.  

In Nigeria, for instance, the 2008 Uwais Electoral Reform Panel Report proposed a special measure to address this imbalance by recommending the creation of 108 additional federal legislative seats to be filled through proportional representation.  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 14:55% 

Ghana’s parliament operates a unicameral legislative system. There are 40 women in the 275-member parliament. 

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 14.55% 

The São Tomé and Príncipe’s parliament operates a unicameral legislature known as the Assembleia nacional (National Assembly). There are currently 8 women in its 55-member Assembleia nacional.  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 13.39% 

The National Assembly and the Senate make up the bicameral structure of Côte d’Ivoire’s parliament.  

There are currently 34 women in the 254-member National Assembly.  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 12.79% 

The parliament operates as the bicameral legislative body in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has two chambers: the Senate and the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly).  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 11:43% 

In the Central African Republic, the Assemblée nationale serves as the unicameral legislative body. Presently, out of the 140 members constituting the Assemblée nationale, only 16 are women. 

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 11.11% 

Botswana operates a unicameral structure of parliament known as the National Assembly. There are 7 women in Botswana’s 63-member National Assembly.  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 10.96% 

Liberia’s structure of parliament is bicameral comprising of two independent chambers: the Senate and House of Representatives.  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 9.8% 

Guinea-Bissau’s parliament is called the People’s National Assembly. It operates on a unicameral legislature. Women make up 10 out of the 102-member people’s National Assembly.  

Percentage of women in lower chambers of parliament: 8.62% 

The Gambia operates on a unicameral structure of parliament. The parliament’s chamber name is the National Assembly. There are currently 5 women in the 58-member National Assembly.  

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