Gender Links: Lesotho: Peaceful Transition But Disappointing Outcome For Women
"Gender Links today welcomed the peaceful transition to a coalition government following the recent elections in Lesotho, but expressed disappointment that the elections witnessed no major advances for women.
An analysis of the election results (see Annex A) shows that women will occupy 31 out of 120 seats in the new parliament (26%) compared to 25% following the 2007 elections. The 2012 elections represented Lesotho’s last opportunity to achieve gender parity in parliament ahead of the 2015 deadline set by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.
“The elections just passed are a testament to the strengthening of democracy in Lesotho,” noted GL CEO Colleen Lowe Morna. “We applaud the dignity with which power has been handed over by the ruling party to an opposition coalition. We also applaud the creative way in which Lesotho maintained a quota for women in the local elections in 2011. Sadly, this same resolve did not carry through to the national elections.”
The result reflects a global fact – that women fare much better in PR than constituency elections, especially when this is combined with a quota. Although Lesotho has now missed the 50% mark for women’s representation in parliament by 2015, the results show that with a few more adjustments to the national electoral law parity can be achieved. Two options are either to increase the number of PR seats, or to reserve the PR seats for women only as happens at the local level.
To read more follow this link: http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/lesotho-peaceful-transition-but-disappointing-outcome-for-women-2012-06-08."
Maseru - June 8, 2012