Journal of African Elections - Volume 11, Issue 2, 2012
Volume 11, Issue 2, 2012
Source: Journal of African Elections 11, pp VI –VIII (2012)More Less
Advocate Pansy Tlakula, former Chief Electoral Officer of the Independent Electoral Commission, was appointed chairperson of the commission in November 2011. She has a BProc from the University of the North, an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand and an LLM from Harvard University. Prior to joining the IEC she was a commissioner at the South African Human Rights Commission and was a member of the team that developed the commission's mission, vision, organisational structure and systems. As National Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, she was responsible for projects and programmes relating to racism and racial discrimination. In 2005 she was appointed a member of the African Commission for Human and People's Rights. Here she answers some questions about the IEC, about women in politics and about issues of local government.
Author Peter ValeSource: Journal of African Elections 11 (2012)More Less
As I write these notes, the results of the Angolan election are trickling in. This election is interesting in itself, of course, but it is just another in the spate of elections that have taken place on the continent this year. All who are interested in promoting democracy in Africa must applaud these developments. But for those, like we who are involved in this journal, elections increase the demands on limited resources and person power.Keeping track of African elections, as our colleagues in EISA do, is one thing, finding experts and authorities to write bout them in this journal is another. The long-term challenge is twofold.
Author Amanda GouwsSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 1 –6 (2012)More Less
With this special edition of the Journal of African Elections we attempt to show the importance of women to local government, both as councillors and as consumers of services. There is a substantive amount of literature dealing with local government elections, yet most of it is completely gender blind (see, eg,Hologram), meaning that it does not use gender as an independent variable to analyse election results, but neither does it use it as a dependent variable to engage in research from the starting point of women's lives.
A vote of confidence : gender differences in attitudes to electoral participation and experience in South AfricaSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 7 –36 (2012)More Less
Despite a sizeable body of literature on the extent and nature of gender differences in electoral participation in developed countries there is limited evidence for developing countries such as South Africa. This study employs data from two nationally representative surveys, namely the 2010 Voter Participation Survey and the 2011 Election Satisfaction Survey, to investigate the relative importance of factors associated with voting decisions among men and women. The article specifically considers cultural modernisation and rational choice accounts of voter turnout. On average, we find more similarity than difference between women and men. Multivariate analysis shows that political efficacy, political interest and a history of voting were common significant determinants of intention to vote in municipal elections, though a sense of a duty to vote, satisfaction with service delivery and political knowledge were important for women exclusively. Political orientation emerges as more important for electoral abstinence than administrative and other individual barriers, again with little discernible gender variation. The results highlight the importance of civic education initiatives and improved responsiveness of elected officials in meeting the needs of women and men. Continued investment is also required to consolidate recent gains in electoral administration and ensure that the benefits of voting continue to outweigh the costs. Sustained turnout levels in future municipal elections are likely to be determined by the success of such interventions.
Gender equality and local government elections : gender mainstreaming, party manifestos, party lists and municipal planningSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 37 –62 (2012)More Less
Women's representation and participation in political parties and governance processes require examination. South Africa is a signatory of the 2008 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, which commits member states to put in place measures to bring about 50% representation for women indecision-making positions by 2015. This article draws on research findings and interventions undertaken by the South African Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) to raise issues relating to gender equality, women's political representation and municipal gender mainstreaming and service deliveryin relation to the May 2011 local government elections in South Africa. CGE research findings include an analysis of political party lists in terms of women's representation, the gender mainstreaming in a sample of political party manifestos and an analysis of gender mainstreaming in a sample of municipal integrated development plans (IDPs). The CGE enquiry focuses on the extent to which the gendered needs of communities, and constitutional and legislative prescripts, inform and are prioritised in these IDPs. TheCGE's interest centres on the gendered aspects of poverty, inequality and local social and economic development. CGE research points to poor representation of women in positions of leadership, despite the country's commitment to the 2015 protocol. In addition, there is evidence of gender insensitivity and a lack of gender transformation within political partiesand inadequate internal policies and programmes to promote and support women and address issues such as sexual harassment. Recommendations point to the need for legislation on the 50% quota to compel parties to enactmeasures to encourage and promote womenâ??s participation and leadership and ensure their equitable representation on party lists.
Partying along in silence violence against women and South African political party manifestos for the local government elections of May 2011Author Lisa VettenSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 63 –74 (2012)More Less
The high incidence of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, as well as its serious consequences, makes such violence a matter of central policy concern to women. Local government programmes provide ample scope for intervening in GBV. But to what extent do political parties recognise this local-level role? To explore this question the authors analysed the manifestos of seven political parties released prior to South Africa's 2011 local government elections, finding that, overall, parties offered few concrete and specific proposals for addressing GBV. The thinness of the manifestos, it is argued, illustrates the fact that the mere presence of women in political parties does not, in and of itself, automatically result in policies with gender content. In this context, mandating quotas only ensures that large numbers of female politicians are now championing gender-blind policies. Ultimately, attention must be paid both to parties' policies and to their quota of women politicians if meaningful change to womenâ??s lives is to be effected.
Author David MandiyanikeSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 75 –92 (2012)More Less
Much has been written about gender and the involvement of women in politics, and convention upon convention has been written to address gender inequalities. But hitherto, in Africa, it has all been much ado about nothing. In Zimbabwe, and indeed many other countries, local government elections are open for all to vote and be voted into office, but the superstructure militates against the free participation of women in these elections. This article examines the limited participation of women in local government elections and decision making, as evidenced by the fact that only 2.76% of councillors elected in 1998 were women and 13.25% in the 2008 local council elections. Sadly, the upper echelons of political power have remained a remarkably resilient bastion of male exclusivity and efforts undertaken to redress the gender imbalance have been superficial. This article juxtaposes these efforts with Zimbabwe's Rural District Councils Capacity Building Programme (RDCCBP), which used a holistic approach to institutional development but failed to address the unequal gender relations in the rural district councils (RDCs). As the major targets of RDC policies, women were coerced into submission. The article argues that where women constitute more than half of the voting population it is in the interests of democratic and egalitarian principles that they should be represented in proportion to their numbers (that is, descriptive representation). Women have a stake and an interest in politics. The political violence seen during the elections strongly militates against the free participation of women. Using the case of Zimbabwe's RDCs I argue that peaceful elections and the unequal gender relations should be at the heart of any capacity-building effort for meaningful and sustainable institutions.
Author Sofonea ShaleSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 93 –115 (2012)More Less
Lesotho introduced a quota for women in local government in 2005 amid different interpretations of the concept and the general preparations for elections. The phase II era of decentralisation, after the quota for women was introduced, was marked by the October 2011 local government elections. In both instances a deliberate effort was made to reserve one-third representation for women, though each time in a different way. This article analyses the way in which the government's efforts to use a legal framework to challenge traditional and patriarchal tendencies have evolved. It arguesthat while the introduction of a quota is a good development it was not properly institutionalised in 2005, nor have the changes introduced in 2011 improved the situation. The article argues that insufficient dialogue has led the government and civil society to miss a valuable opportunity to use a women's quota in local government to change women's political, social and economic status.
The rights-based approach to local government development and service delivery : putting women (back) in the centre of attentionAuthor Carla AckermanSource: Journal of African Elections 11, pp 116 –139 (2012)More Less
A telephone survey of municipalities throughout South Africa undertaken in May 2010 by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) produced a baseline of the status quo with regard to local government responses to gender equality and women's empowerment across six key municipal indicators: capacity, policy, strategies or plans, integrated development plans (IDPs), service delivery and budget implementation plans (SDBIPs) and performance management (PM). The article poses three key questions relating to the findings:
Against the backdrop of developmental local government, what is the mandate of local government as far as gender equality and women's empowerment are concerned?
Taking into account the survey results, what does a rights-based approach to local government mean?
If local government does not, at present, adequately address the gender equality concerns of women as a group, what do we need to do differently to see different results?