Research Handbook on Democracy and Development
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Research Handbook on Democracy and Development

Edited by Gordon Crawford and Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai

Exploring and updating the controversial debates about the relationship between democracy and development, this Research Handbook provides clarification on the complex and nuanced interlinkages between political regime type and socio-economic development. Distinguished scholars examine a broad range of issues from multidisciplinary perspectives across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
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Chapter 22: Gender inequality and democracy in Africa

Gretchen Bauer


This chapter provides a brief overview of some of the issues concerning the elusive and contested concepts of gender equality and democracy in Africa. The chapter has shown how in terms of political empowerment, women continue to lag behind men in important indicators such as representation in parliament and other institutions of government. At the same time it is also the case that affirmative action interventions such as electoral gender quotas are working to bring more women into politics and decision making, with women even achieving parity with men in some instances. And yet, these achievements have been found in democracies and non-democracies alike in Africa (and in other parts of the world) thus calling into question the idea of a necessary link between democracy and equality, including gender equality.

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