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Advocacy Competition PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 10:17


Advocacy Competition

Participation in Africa


Competition on Gender and Political

Call for papers F

       1. Context and justification of the competition

Despite the achievements noted, gender equality is still mobilizing women’s

organisations and activists on gender mainstreaming need in policies and programs

developed by African states at the global, continental and national levels. At the level

of democratic governance, the examination of the trends of women’s political

participation since Beijing reveals that, despite a few results gained on the field,

progress are very short of the 30% set in Beijing. The gap between men and women

is still high at all levels of decision making

The AAWORD/AFARD workshop held in December 2009 in Dakar on « Gender and

Political Participation in Africa », has not only allowed to identify resistances to the

mass inclusion of women in the decision making spheres but also showed the

persistency of the glass ceiling in those spheres which do not give women the

opportunity to influence policies and programs developed in their countries. Hence

the reason why following the Dakar workshop and in the framework of the African

Women Decade, and faced with the 2015 deadline for the evaluation of the

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), AAWORD/AFARD is organizing a

competition of the best papers on women’s political participation in Africa, in order to

provide the African Women Forum and the Platform of Young researchers, with all

useful arguments to improve their advocacy in terms of democratic governance. Male

and female applicants will be invited to :


_ first document the reasons of African women’s political setbacks by

   emphasizing the socio-cultural and economic resistances that stand in their

   political career ;

_ identify the best experiences of African women’s political participation as role

   model for young political aspirants ;

_ and lastly make recommendations to :


  • Religious actors: because they play a predominant role in the elections and

the choice of leaders in our countries. This phenomenon which is far from

being isolated seems to be part of a power system which the spiritual is

exerting on the temporal one. In these power stakes, women seem to be left

out and even sent back to the private sphere for the public one to be left to




  • State actors: because the State has an essential role to play in women’s

involvement in political governance. The importance of the Executive’s political

will to achieve the objectives of gender equality and parity in politics has been

strongly emphasized at the Dakar workshop. However, the lack of a legal and

social framework in favour of gender equality in politics could slow down the

march towards equality. What is expected from the State is not only the

establishment of policies of positive discrimination but responsibility to bring

into full play its binding force in order to ensure the enforcement of electoral

provisions and laws in favour of women. However, the State seems to be

unbiased and hardly succeeds in combining its political choices with its

regulating and protecting role for the rights of male and female citizens.


  • Political actors are not outdone: They make egalitarian speeches but in

practice, come against the increase of the number of men in the political field

and thus power seizing by men. Why women which seem to be dominating in

number in political parties are ghettoized in women’s movements within

political parties and representations which hardly exceed the 25% quota ?

Recommendations aiming at encouraging parties in organizational and

programmatic reforms need to be made.


  • Women and girls in politics: the Dakar workshop made it possible to start to

think about political women’s perceptions on themselves and politics. Thus it

was noted a tendency to idealize the political system and introduce equity in it

at the time when violence is presented as the only means for winning voices

and positions. Communication will help carry out a thorough analysis of the

perceptions of political women and aspirants and identify aspects on which

capacity building or personal development could be undertaken.


     2. Profile of male and female applicants:

Candidates will be interested male and female youth between age 18 - 35 with a

University degree (a BA at least) and of African nationality.


       3. Applicants are expected to:

  • Document resistances to African women’s political participation
  • Identify best practices
  • And make recommendations to political parties, religious leaders, States and

political women and aspirants.


       4. Applications must include:

  • An updated CV and a paper on the theme within the geographical region of the

applicant (ECOWAS, SADEC, EAC, CEMAC or UMA).

  • Papers must not exceed 12 pages (A4) size including bibliography, of Times

   New Roman 12, with 1,15 line spacing;

  • Documents should be submitted in English or French no later than February

   25th 2012 at 18h00 Dakar time (GMT) to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


         5. Advantages for prizewinners:

  • A US$ lumpsum to cater for desk review and writing costs
  • On line publication of the paper in AAWORD/AFARD website from March 8th

2012 (Celebration of the International Women’s Day)

  • A certificate from AAWORD/AFARD
  • A free subscription to available AAWORD/AFARD publications since 2007 (in

hard or soft copy);

  • And participation in the platform of young researchers of AAWORD/AFARD
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