Affirmative Action: A Kick-Start with Limitations

Monday, February 1, 2010
Åshild Falch
Central Africa
Southern Asia

An increasing number of countries emerging from armed conflict have introduced mechanisms for affirmative action to guarantee women's representation in post-conflict political processes. Burundi and Nepal are two of these countries, and both introduced quotas to bring about the entry of an unprecedented number of women into their political institutions following post-conflict elections. These positive achievements, however, should not deter us from addressing the many remaining challenges that impede women's participation in decision-making. Women have gained increased presence in political institutions, but entrenched patriarchal norms, gender inequality and discriminatory practices continue to hinder their ability to participate effectively in political decision-making. In order to reverse this trend, broader attitudinal and institutional changes, as well as qualitative increase in women's capabilities, are in order.

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Falch, Affirmative Action, 2010