Tuesday, September 23, 2008
ROUND-UP - Voters in Rwanda break records
Rwanda made headlines around the world this month when it became the first country to elect a majority of women to parliament. In an election last week, 56% of seats went to women.
The countries with the most women in government after Rwanda, as of 2006, were Sweden and Costa Rica. Now Cuba has moved to third place. The United States ranks low on the list with only about 16% women in elected government, roughly the same as across Africa as a whole.
Analysts say that Rwandan women were motivated to become more politically active after the genocide there in 1993. They are also slightly in the majority in the general population, since more men than women were killed in the genocide.
It also helped that Rwanda had a law guaranteeing that 24 seats will go to women. The parties also put their own rules into place that ensured women would be at the top of the ballot.
The New York Times' coverage: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/19/world/19nations.html?em
An African perspective:
From a feminist site: