This paper was submitted by Catherine M. Watuka, Executive Director of the NGO Women United for Social, Economic & Total Empowerment based in Kenya. The purpose of this paper is to outline and evaluate the barriers women face in becoming representatives and the position of women in public and political life. It outlines legislative proposals and the process of lobbying for the increase in the levels of women’s representation in political life at the party-level and in civil society. Finally, proposed ways of reaching parity in democracy are assessed and alternative solutions suggested. The quotas system is presented, together with other strategies that could act as building blocks of a comprehensive strategy to maximize opportunities for women entering the political decision-making process.
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