MOZAMBIQUE: Women Leadership in Politics

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy
Southern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

In Mozambique NIMD supports a training project to encourage women to take an active role in politics. Mozambique is one of the 15 countries in the world with the highest representation of women in parliament, at 35 percent. It also has a female prime minister, Mrs Luisa Dias Diogo. Nevertheless there are two main stumbling blocks for women in their own parties. Firstly, they are underrepresented in the decision-making bodies and the electoral lists of most political parties. Secondly, many women have limited knowledge about issues related to the functioning of democratic regimes and gender equity in politics.

To encourage women to take a more active lead within their parties, the Mozambican Association for Woman, Law and Development (MULEIDE) is organising training seminars. Last year, the Mozambican NGO organised three seminars in Maputo, Beira and Pemba for women from the ruling party FRELIMO, the main opposition party RENAMO and other opposition groups. The training focussed on gender issues within the parties and basic political concepts.

Apart from knowledge sharing and debate about gender and politics, the training sessions provided women of different political backgrounds an opportunity to meet and discuss issues of national interest. The MULEIDE project may be seen as a positive step towards more dialogue between different parties and political tolerance.

This year MULEIDE has set out to organise similar training seminars in other parts of the country and to promote an inter-party forum for female politicians in Mozambique.