The relationship between democracy and women participation in politics

Zungura Mervis, Nyemba Eve, Mutasa Florence, Muronza Caroline

Abstract


This paper analyses the relationship between democracy and women participation in politics. Democracy is supposed to translate into equal power relations between men and women. Evidence on the ground shows little or no connection between democracy and levels of women political participation as those countries regarded as highly democratic have low women representation compared to those regarded as less democratic. This paper attempts to answer the following major questions: is there a relationship between a country’s democratic level and the number of women in political positions? At political party levels, does it follow that democratic parties have more women than parties regarded as authoritarian? Are countries wholly committed to increasing women participation in politics to enhance democracy? Or is the signing of agreements aimed at increasing women in political decisions simply rhetoric? Is there a relationship between the wealth a country has and the number of women in political positions? Documentary evidence, in-depth interviews and key informant interviews highlighted that there is no positive rapport between democracy and women involvement in politics as democratic countries and parties have less women than autocracies. Political commitment to increased women participation by all countries is the solution to women involvement in politics. Gender should be preserved as an unequivocal goal of democracy.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v3i1.3516

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