n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Political participation of women in Lesotho : the case of Molefi Ts'epe v The Independent Electoral Commission and Others, judgment of 30 June 2005
|Article Title||Political participation of women in Lesotho : the case of Molefi Ts'epe v The Independent Electoral Commission and Others, judgment of 30 June 2005|
|© Publisher:||Institute of Foreign and Comparative Law|
|Journal||Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa|
|Author||Frans Viljoen and Martin Nsibirwa|
|Publication Date||Jul 2006|
|Pages||351 - 360|
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 Molefi Ts'epe v The Independent Electoral Commission and others 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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