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Top 10 African countries with the highest number of female representation in government

Top 10 African countries with the highest number of female representation in politics
  • Business Insider Africa presents the top 10 African countries with the highest number of female representatives in government. 
  • This list is based on the data present in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s database, which shows that Rwanda is the most politically progressive country in the world.
  • The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is a data platform for authoritative data on the parliaments of the world, each month, they publish rankings of the percentage of women in national parliaments.

The importance of having women in government cannot be overstated as it directly relates to building a more equitable society with a diverse range of interests and issues being lodged on a state level.

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Women bring a unique perspective and experience to governance that can lead to more comprehensive policies that better represent and serve all members of society. For much of humanity’s history, political leadership has been relegated to men, resulting in policies and laws that often overlook or marginalize the needs of women and other marginalized groups.

Having women in parliament is an important step towards achieving gender equality and creating a society that is more just and inclusive. Studies have shown that having more women in parliament leads to more policies that address issues affecting everyone, such as childcare, maternal health, and equal pay.

Additionally, women in parliament often bring focus on social issues such as education, healthcare, and poverty reduction, which can improve the lives of all citizens. In retrospect, women bring a balance to socio-economic topics which ultimately impact every member of society.

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Based on this fact, more and more countries are becoming more politically inclusive, nominating and electing women into seats of power. But, it still begs the question of which countries in the world have made the most progress as it relates to political female inclusion.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a data platform for authoritative data on the parliaments of the world, publishes rankings of the percentage of women in national parliaments each month.

In commemoration of International Women’s Month, here are 10 African countries with the most female representation in politics, based on the IPU’s database. The database includes a total of 186 countries.

Rank Country Elections Seats Women % of Women in parliament Global Rank
1. Rwanda 09.2018 80 49 61.3 1st
2. South Africa 05.2019 400 185 46.3 11th
3. Senegal 07.2022 165 76 46.1 14th
4. Namibia 11.2019 104 46 44.2 17th
5. Mozambique 10.2019 250 108 43.2 19th
6. Cabo Verde 04.2021 72 30 41.7 22nd
7. Ethiopia 06.2021 472 195 41.3 25th
8. Burundi 05.2020 123 47 38.2 34th
9. Tanzania 10.2020 393 147 37.4 38th
10. Cameroon 02.2020 180 61 33.9 49th
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This list contains just Lower or Single House parliamentary figures, the original list on the IPU's website contains a more comprehensive list containing details of Upper Chamber figures.

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