Despite constituting the majority of South Africa’s population and comprising the largest number of voters, women’s participation as candidates in elections is still skewed in favour of men.
In the 2016 municipal elections, women accounted for 58% of voters, and yet just under 40% of the elected candidates were women.
Laws such as the Municipal Structures Act require that party lists for local government elections “seek to ensure” that 50% of candidates on the party list be women. Calls are now being made for the IEC Act to be amended to enable IEC to demand gender-balanced candidate lists from political parties.
Below is the discussion on the role and place for women candidates in elections. We spoke to the president of Ikhwezi Political Movement, Nokuzola Kolwapi and the Director of Policy Research at the Commission for Gender Equality, Dr Thabo Rapoo.