National Assembly: Senegal has 73 women parliamentarians out of 165 seats

Keisha Gitari, BBC Africa Digital

Photo credit, Getty Images

Senegal now has the highest proportion of women parliamentarians ever recorded in West Africa, with 73 members for 165 seats.

44% of seats in the country’s newly elected legislature are held by women.

Following elections in July, 73 of the 165 parliamentary seats will now be held by women, the highest proportion of any country in the region.

Figures for women parliamentarians vary from one West African country to another: in Nigeria, for example, only 4% of parliamentary seats are held by women, compared to 26% in neighboring Niger.

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Senegal ranks fourth in Africa and 18th in the world for gender parity in parliament, ahead of Switzerland, France, Britain and the United States, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva.

A 2010 law requiring “absolute gender parity” in all elective institutions is behind the country’s high proportion of women in office.

According to a United Nations report, outside of Senegal, only 15 of 111 elected or appointed parliamentary or ministerial positions were held by women in West Africa and the Sahel between December and June.

Percentage of women in parliament in West Africa

Figures for women’s representation in parliaments in West African countries range from 4% (Nigeria) to 44% in Senegal, which has the highest number, followed by Cape Verde, with 39%. .

Here is the table, in descending order, according to figures provided by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

1 – Senegal 44% 9 – Ghana 15%

2– Cape Verde 39% 10 – Ivory Coast 14%

3– Guinea 30% 11 – Guinea-Bissau 14%

4 – Mali 27% 12 – Sierra Leone 12%

5– Nigeria 26% 13 – Liberia 11%

6-Burkina Faso 20% 14 – Gambia 9%

7 – Mauritania 20% 15 – Benin 8%

8– Togo 19% 16 – Nigeria 4%

The installation of the 165 deputies of the 14th Senegalese legislature takes place this Monday, September 12 at the hemicycle, in Dakar, the capital.

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