Ethiopia’s Ruling Party Will Reserve Seats for Women

In an attempt to increase the number of women in parliament, Ethiopia’s ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) will guarantee 30 percent of seats for women in Parliament. According to the Associated Press, women currently only hold 7.6 percent of seats in the 548-seat lower house of Parliament.

“For the country to be a true democracy women must be properly represented,” said Ethiopia Beyene, the deputy head of the Parliament women’s affairs committee, reports Business in Africa Online. Meanwhile, in response to EPRDF’s decision, opposition parties also have stated that they will reserve a certain number of seats for women.

In another African nation, Rwanda, reserves women hold 49 percent of seats in Parliament. In comparison, in the United States women hold only 14 percent of the seats in the Congress.

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Associated Press 10/29/04; Business in African Online 11/4/04

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