Women want more leadership positions

President Sirlief Johnson
Women say want a sincere gender equality in politics as a way to positively transform nations.

Women all around the world want more leadership positions.

This is what most women expressed in a meeting of women parliamentarians from Africa in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The more than 400 female parliamentarians from around the world raised their voices at a meeting of women parliamentarians in Africa on Monday to demand a greater female leadership presence in global decision making.

They also want a sincere gender equality in politics as a way to positively transform nations.

Currently, only 22 percent of members of parliaments worldwide are women.

The are five nations which completely lack female representation in their governments, so there is much that remains to be done to achieve parity.

”Women represent over 50 percent of the population, but we still have a very small presence in parliament,” chairwoman of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma lamented at the opening of the Women in Parliaments Global Forum, being held in Ethiopia’s capital.

Women leadership 

The presence of women in leadership positions helps to change the mindset of societies, men and women alike, while women’s voices in the mission to create change is a crucial step in changing women’s lives.

Several participants concurred that legislation is essential for change, so that women “should be there” not only to “legislate” but also to “monitor” their governments to ensure that they pursue policies that ensure gender equality.

In governments with a female presence, there have been substantial legislative changes such as enacting laws to ensure equal rights, or to protect girls and prevent child brides.

To achieve that increase in female political participation, parliamentarians call to share a common agenda aimed at gender equality.

Thus, the African Union announced that gender equality will be a top priority, and it will fight for this item to be included in the future development agenda that must begin after 2015, the deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

These actions will focus on ensuring access of girls and women to education, health and employment, given that “if they are still excluded, countries cannot move forward.”

Many participants confessed that sub-Saharan Africa is an example to follow, since Rwanda is the country with the highest number of female parliamentarians worldwide.

Furthermore, 12 countries in the region have female parliamentarian rates upward of 22 percent, higher than the world average.