n Conflict Trends - Qualifying women's leadership in Africa

Volume 2007, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Since the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, women's status has changed. Giant strides have been achieved, and more opportunities are open for women in education and leadership positions at all levels of decision-making. Even though the African continent has been marred by armed conflict, violence, bloodshed and war, some member states have succeeded, in specific circumstances, to transform their conflict situations and to mainstream women into leading positions in government. Rwanda presently has the highest percentage of women in parliament in the world (48.8 percent), while Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became Africa's first democratically elected woman president. Internationally, a number of global and regional instruments have been adopted to protect women's interests, and many of these instruments have been recognised by a number of African nation states. Notably, the United Nations (UN) Resolution 1325 has been adopted by many women's groups to ensure their presence at peace tables in Northern Uganda, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. At the same time, the Durban Declaration (2002) emerged with 50 percent representation of women at all levels of decision-making in the African Union (AU), followed by the unanimous adoption of the Protocol on the Rights of African Women in 2003.

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