n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Political participation of women in Lesotho : the case of , judgment of 30 June 2005

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In contrast with the political marginalisation of women at the national level, the Lesotho legislature in 2004 instituted a gender-based quota system at the local level. In terms of this system, a third of the seats in electoral councils in local elections are reserved for female candidates. Responding to a constitutional challenge against this innovation, the Lesotho Court of Appeal in held that 'positive measures', such as the electoral quota system, conformed with Lesotho's international obligations and constituted a justifiable limitation to the rights under the Constitution. Against the background of pervasive discrimination against women in Lesotho, this decision is a small but significant step in a process that should accelerate after the ratification by Lesotho and the entry into force of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa subsequent to the decision in this case.

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