Addis Ababa December 15/2020 (ENA) Women’s representation in political parties in Ethiopia is only about 20 to 30 percent, a study conducted by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) revealed.
The study assessed 70 political parties operating in Ethiopia to examine the gender-balance and gender sensitivity of political parties in the country.
The board has discussed on the findings of the study with the political parties aimed at enhancing women’s participation in political activities in Ethiopia.
Gender equality is one of the normative foundations of democracy and a main developmental goal promoted by the United Nations, it was indicated.
However, women are still markedly underrepresented in politics, International Affairs and Global Strategy stated.
According to the study conducted by NEBE, women’s representation in political parties in Ethiopia is between 20 to 30 percent.
It also indicated that no political party has woman at the top leadership position such as president, deputy president, or head of committees.
However, in 30 percent of the political parties, women are represented in central committee, executive committee, and audit committee, the study stated.
Lack of political aspiration of women as a result of low level of education, lack of confidence, and resist any effort to come to party leadership positions, is one of the reasons for the low participation of women, as mentioned by political parties involved in the study.
The study findings has indicated that about 21 percent of the political parties have structure to address gender equality.
The study has also reviewed the existing opportunities in Ethiopia that help to improve women participation in politics including the federal governance system and the ongoing reform.
The study urged political parties to work more on women’s political participation at the decision making level.
It also recommended that enhancing capacity building efforts on women political party members and women candidates aimed at encouraging women’s passion to politics.
The study has also called for more influencing political party behavior through governing laws, activists, and women’s rights advocates.
It further stressed the need for empowering women political party members who are already taking bold stands not only to resist but also to push for more space for women.