Gender Equality and the Participation of Women in Public Office in Swaziland

Despite major efforts over the past two decades to create equal opportunities for women to participate in politics and to increase female representation in government leadership in subSaharan Africa, women's inclusion continues to be a major challenge. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development (2008) calls for 50% representation of women in decision-making positions in both public and private sectors by 2015. Swaziland continues to fall well short of targets for women’s representation in public affairs. In 2013 elections, only 18% (55 of 309) of nominated candidates were women, and only one was elected to Parliament.