Written by Radhia Malla | Posted on  11 Mar 2016.

Most of the time when we hear about democracy we all look into politics and consider  about men’ only ,but fundamentally democracy has changed, it’s now impossible to think of democracy as anything but full and equal political citizenship for all. On 05 may 2011 the executive director Ms. Michelle Bachelet of UN women was discussing importance of women’s participation in democracy. But if a democracy neglects women’s participation, if it ignores women’s voices, if it ignores accountability for women’s rights, it is a democracy for only half citizens. We must recognize that participation is one thing but real voice is another.

 Are women able to articulate and voice their rights, needs and preferences? How far are political parties internally democratic? Have women in society had the opportunity to debate common position on the constitution, electoral law, safety during campaigns, and other issues? The African continent has demonstrated commitment to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Almost all countries have ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women; More than half have certified the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Other milestone includes the African Union’s declaration of 2010-2020 as the African Women’s Decade. Although Africa includes both low – and middle – income countries, poverty rates are still high. The majority of women work in insecure, poorly paid jobs with few opportunities for advancement. Democratic elections are increasing, and a record number of women have successfully contested for seats, e.g. in Tanzania now we have more than 300+ female Member of Parliament.