See also:
» 30.07.2008 - Senegal approves presidential term extension
» 02.06.2008 - Senegal leader rules out dialogue with opposition
» 25.01.2008 - Senegal boost energy supply
» 29.08.2007 - Senegal ruling party sweeps senatorial polls
» 18.06.2007 - Court endorses Senegal ruling party victory
» 15.05.2007 - Senegal goes to polls without major opposition
» 20.04.2007 - Cry over media crack down in Senegal
» 10.04.2007 - 15 vie for Senegal’s legislative polls

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Politics | Gender - Women

Senegal guarantees gender balance in legislative polls

afrol News, 28 March - 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.

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