Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba said there is a need to reform electoral processes to provide a level ground for women to effectively participate in governance and political leadership.
Mrs Masire-Mwamba said this at the opening of a meeting of African women leaders in Perth, Australia, on 27 October.
“Some of the challenges women face in participating in politics have to do with the structure and nature of the organisation of political parties,” said Mrs Masire-Mwamba. “There are many financial and logistical restrictions and requirements which women do not have. These need to be reformed so that women can cross that barrier.”
The African Women’s Preparatory Consultative Meeting on the Development of the National Action Plan, organised by the African Women’s Council of Australia (AWCoA), was held at the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament of Western Australia.
Mrs Masire-Mwamba explained that the Commonwealth places great importance on gender equality, and promotes policy advocacy to ensure that the underlying issues which perpetuate the imbalance of opportunities between women and men are addressed.
The AWCoA is a platform that offers the silent majority a voice and helps to empower African women by building their confidence in playing an active part in politics, business and society.
The meeting was also addressed by the President of the Legislative Council of the Parliament of Western Australia, Barry House, and AWCoA President Dr Casta Tungaraza.