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Assessment of Gender Equality in Ethiopia: The Position of Ethiopiain Women’s Political Representation from the World, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Africa Ethiopian Civil Service University

TitleAssessment of Gender Equality in Ethiopia: The Position of Ethiopiain Women’s Political Representation from the World, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Africa Ethiopian Civil Service University
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOkock, O, Asfaw, M
JournalJournal of Law, Policy and Globalization
Volume28
ISSN2224-3240
KeywordsAssessment, Gender Equality, Gender Inequality, Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Quotas., Women’s Political Empowerment/Representation
Abstract

Gender Mainstreaming (GM) is an issue of growing concern in the world community. Presence of
women/females in the parliament around the world has already become a reality that is impacting on the social,
cultural, political, and economic fabric of the world’s nations. Despite the limited improvements made by very
few countries, gender inequalities are on the increase in the developing countries, including Ethiopia.On the
other hand, representation of women and inclusion of their perspectives and experiences into the decisionmaking
processes can result to the solutions that satisfy larger number of the society. Economic and social
empowerment of women is greatly reliable on their integration into the political decision-making process
through involving them in the political and public offices. Women can enjoy their political and civil rights
through political representation and/or participation in the public life, as ensuring women’s political participation
is essential to bring legitimacy to the government and establish democracy in a practical sense which may lead to
validity and trustworthiness of democracy and democratic process by the public and stakeholders.Women remain
under-represented in the executive and political leadership positions mostly in the world regardless of their
advanced educational levels and political participation. Policy-makers have responded through the introduction
of ‘gender quota’for females’ representation in the governments. Adoption of gender quotas is related with
attitudes about women within a particular country, calling for increased levels of democratic freedoms to
improve women’s access to public and political decision making positions. Proportional (descriptive)
representation systems offer greater opportunities of gaining political access for women. Gender quotas are good
policy tool to achieving equitable representation of women in the policy-making positions, serving as a tool for
consolidating strong female representation. They facilitate the process of change for women’s political inclusion
in the political arena. They can increase female leadership; influence policy outcomes, and reduce gender
discrimination. Thus, introduction and adoption of gender quotas in the political and public service offices do
increase female leadership in both political and executive/public offices.This study has revealed that there exists
a “wider gender gap” in the representations of women in the ministerial positions than the national parliamentary
representation in Ethiopia. The study has also shown that Ethiopian women’s executive representation is lagging
behind the parliamentary representation, and repelling women from the executive positions.It has also foundthat
Ethiopia lacks relatively proportional regional shares of women in the national parliamentary representation.
However, there had been a remarkable progress in the number/percentages/ of women in national parliamentary
standing committees and presiding higher officials in the house of peoples’ representatives. Finally, the study
had also shown that women’s representation in the House of Federation (HoF) at national levelrelatively lacks
proportional regional shares in both 3rd and 4th election terms.This paper, therefore, explores the status of
women’s political empowerment/ representation in the public and political decision-making positions in Ethiopia
in line with creating conducive conditions for policy implications (“National Gender Equality Policy”) towards
the achievement of effective gender equality and/or reducing gender inequalityspecifically in the Gambella
region as well as in Ethiopia in general.

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