n Journal of African Elections - Elections, gender and governance in Mauritius

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



The object of this paper is to explore the reasons for the under representation of women in the Mauritian legislature as well as to examine the implications for democratic governance of such under representation. It argues that although elections are necessary they are not sufficient to legitimise the state. The regularity and peacefulness of Mauritian elections are no doubt an asset but state legitimacy can only be strengthened and democratic governance consolidated if diverse interests and concerns are taken into consideration. Women constitute more than half the population and if their voices remain insufficiently heard democracy is malfunctioning. The paper makes a strong case for electoral reform based on a gender friendly and gender sensitive proportional representation (PR) system. The paper concludes that more women are needed in the legislature in order to work and push for the emergence and consolidation of a gender inclusive developmental state. The demand for more women parliamentarians is not a mere numbers issue but a call for transformational politics, that is, for equity, for social justice, in short for the betterment of the human condition.

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