- The Senegalese parliament yesterday overwhelmingly voted in favour of a bill that introduced gender parity on the lists of proportional representation that political parties should present for legislative polls in the country. Initiated by President Abdoulaye Wade, the passing of the bill means increase in the number of female members of parliament in Senegal's future parliament.
Deputies on the opposition bench boycotted the extra-ordinary parliamentary session as a sign of their anger against the bills. They are not alone in their anger, as religious leaders earlier expressed concern for the enforcement of such a law in a pre-dominantly Muslim society.
Serigne Bousso Dieng, the Chairman of the association of religious leaders in Senegal faulted the country's women intellectuals for advocating for gender parity which is not in tandem with the realities of the society.
But the Senegalese Interior Minister, Ousmane Ngom, who tabled the bill in parliament, defended that since women form majority of voters in the country, it is therefore fair for them to be adequately represented in parliament.
He described the passing of the as yet another victory for Senegalese democracy.
Under the new bill, 30 women MPs shall be appointed from the national list, which obviously doubles their representation in the next parliament. At present, 23 out of the 120-member parliament are women.
In her reaction to the bill, the chairwoman of the national movement of socialist women, Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, urged the government to extend the gender parity law to cover national and departmental lists of parliamentary polls.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.
afrol News - As Malawi faces its worst-ever corruption scandals, donors are now freezing their aid. But Charles Mkula, head of Malawi's journalists, told afrol News that this will only victimise the extremely poor country and create political chaos.
afrol News - Four hangings have already been executed and a fifth is in preparation in Nigeria. The country had imposed a moratorium on state executions in 2006, but governors are now rushed to sign death warrants as President Goodluck Jonathan lifted the ban.
afrol News - In Madagascar, "a largely uncontrolled locust plague" is in development, which by September is expected to infest two-thirds of the large island. If not checked, the locusts will finish off the entire crops of more than half of the population.
afrol News - Despite massive pressure to stop the prosecution of Kenya's recently elected President, Uhuru Kenyatta, the International Criminal Court (ICC) today set a new date for the trial against the state leader. Mr Kenyatta is accused of crimes against humanity.