North Africa: Women's Political Participation
In addition, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) work towards strengthening women’s political leadership and their participation in political decision-making bodies to at least 30% of representatives.
In spite of these efforts and the progress achieved in recent years, the substantive participation of women in political life is still limited.
The same reality exists at the local level, with significant differences between countries. Whereas in Morocco only 0.55% of elected municipal representatives are women (2003), in Algeria women made up 8.26% of representatives (2002-2007) and in Tunisia they reached 27% (2005-2008).
Within the context described above, the UN-INSTRAW/CAWTAR project aims to mobilize women and men from different sectors – government, civil society, political parties, academia and the media – in order to support a participatory dialogue on the project’s main issues, taking into account the unique context of this Arab sub-region as well as the specific circumstances in each of the project countries.
The project prioritizes research and analysis, capacity-building, communication and advocacy in the following ways:
* building a more in-depth understanding of the status, obstacles, challenges and opportunities for women’s leadership and their participation in politics and decision-making at the local, national and sub-regional levels;
* strengthening the capacity of the main actors in political and decision-making processes through the exchange of information and good practices;
* creating policy dialogue among key stakeholders on the project’s main issues in order to support awareness and integration of gender issues in development processes.
Communication – in particular the representation of women in politics through media in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – constitutes a cross-cutting priority at all phases and levels of the project.