Biblio

A Critical and Comparative Analysis of Political Empowerment/Representation/ in Promoting Gender Equality in Gambella Regional State

TitleA Critical and Comparative Analysis of Political Empowerment/Representation/ in Promoting Gender Equality in Gambella Regional State
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOkock, O, Asfaw, M
JournalDeveloping Country Studies
Volume4
ISSN2224-607X
Abstract

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 decision-making processes can have social benefits, better and more
appropriate social, political, legal, and economic solutions for their problems. Economic and social
empowerment of women is greatly reliable on their integration into the political decision-making process
through their involvement 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
can bring legitimacy to the government and, validity and trustworthiness of democracy and democratic process
by the public and stakeholders. The purpose of this study is to assess the status of women’s political
empowerment/ representation in the public and political decision-making positions in the Gambella regional
state of Ethiopia so as to suggest appropriate policy options towards the achievement of effective gender equality
in the region. The study showed that women had never been represented in the national legislative and executive
branches of the Ethiopian federal government. Cumulatively, this research had found that the political
empowerment, representation or participation of men and women in the legislative, executive, and judiciary as
well as in the justice and political system was comparatively better and showed a progress in the descending
order of the administrative levels and the reverse is true for men. Though there had been a very remarkable and
significant progress in the legislative representation of women in 4th election term of 2010, a “wider gender
inequality” existed in the representation of women in the executive at all administrative levels in the Gambella
regional state. The study had discovered a wider gender inequality in the representation of both men and women
as the presiding higher officials in the parliament offices at all administrative levels in the region. However, the
representation of women as speakers of the house, commonly as vice speakers, showed a promising
representation at similar administrative levels regardless of the regional administrative level where women had
been given no chance to be one of the speakers in the regional parliament. The study had also found that there
had been a satisfactory representation of women in the parliamentary standing committees’ at all administrative
levels. However, the representation lacks proportionality from within the standing committees. There had also
been a bit wider gender inequality in the representation of women as the chairpersons of the various
parliamentary standing committees’ at all administrative levels in the legislative branch of the government.
Although women had been given satisfactory political gender quota in the political party’s central and executive
committees, their representation in the official positions of the political party at all administrative levels in the
region was very insignificant. Finally, the study had shown the existence of a wider gender inequality in the
judicial and justice systems in the region at all administrative levels.

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