The success of quota systems in many African countries is largely attributed to: strong and active women’s movements; regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that have adopted gender balanced representation and set quota targets for member countries; and opportunities in post-conflict and transition societies, which allowed for advances in women’s representation.
‘Women’s Parliaments’ have taken various forms:
- broad-based forums
- parliamentary caucuses
- women’s manifestos
- women’s councils elected in women’s only elections.
It is important to note that women’s movements have also been important in pushing for more balanced representation in regional bodies; and for lobbying them to adopt quota policies. Women’s movements maximised on the openings in transitioning societies as well – pushing for the representation of women in peace negotiations and institutionalising greater women’s representation in new constitutions.