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No Shortcuts to Power: African Women in Politics and Policy Making

No Shortcuts to Power: African Women in Politics and Policy Making (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Whatever the other shortcomings of representative democracy in the world today, one issue that remains only partially resolved is the political participation and policy impact of one half of the population -- women. This book examines this question in the context of two countries, South Africa and Uganda, which in this regard have accomplished much more than most (including the Western democracies).



How did women achieve some 30% representation in both national and local political institutions in these countries? How far did women's mobilization in civil society play a part? How sustainable are these gains likely to be? And of equal importance, there are the questions around the impact of women politicians on policy. Here the volume examines two litmus test pieces of legislation -- around land in Uganda and gender violence in South Africa.



What emerges is that the political routes to increased female participation vary and the solidity of the gains made depends much on the strength of the gender-equity lobby in society at large. What is more, participation does not necessarily translate into effective policy influence enhancing the position and interests of women.

Anne Marie Goetz is a political scientist and Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Shireen Hassim is a political scientist and lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Witwatersrand.

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