Assessment of Gender Equality in Ethiopia: The Position of Ethiopiain Women’s Political Representation from the World, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Africa Ethiopian Civil Service University

Ojulu Okock Okumo


Gender Mainstreaming (GM) is an issue of growing concern in the world community. Presence of women/females in the parliament around the world has already become a reality that is impacting on the social, cultural, political, and economic fabric of the world’s nations. Despite the limited improvements made by very few countries, gender inequalities are on the increase in the developing countries, including Ethiopia.On the other hand, representation of women and inclusion of their perspectives and experiences into the decision-making processes can result to the solutions that satisfy larger number of the society. Economic and social empowerment of women is greatly reliable on their integration into the political decision-making process through involving them in the political and public offices. Women can enjoy their political and civil rights through political representation and/or participation in the public life, as ensuring women’s political participation is essential to bring legitimacy to the government and establish democracy in a practical sense which may lead to validity and trustworthiness of democracy and democratic process by the public and stakeholders.Women remain under-represented in the executive and political leadership positions mostly in the world regardless of their advanced educational levels and political participation. Policy-makers have responded through the introduction of ‘gender quota’for females’ representation in the governments. Adoption of gender quotas is related with attitudes about women within a particular country, calling for increased levels of democratic freedoms to improve women’s access to public and political decision making positions. Proportional (descriptive) representation systems offer greater opportunities of gaining political access for women. Gender quotas are good policy tool to achieving equitable representation of women in the policy-making positions, serving as a tool for consolidating strong female representation. They facilitate the process of change for women’s political inclusion in the political arena. They can increase female leadership; influence policy outcomes, and reduce gender discrimination. Thus, introduction and adoption of gender quotas in the political and public service offices do increase female leadership in both political and executive/public offices.This study has revealed that there exists a “wider gender gap” in the representations of women in the ministerial positions than the national parliamentary representation in Ethiopia. The study has also shown that Ethiopian women’s executive representation is lagging behind the parliamentary representation, and repelling women from the executive positions.It has also foundthat Ethiopia lacks relatively proportional regional shares of women in the national parliamentary representation. However, there had been a remarkable progress in the number/percentages/ of women in national parliamentary standing committees and presiding higher officials in the house of peoples’ representatives.  Finally, the study had also shown that women’s representation in the House of Federation (HoF) at national levelrelatively lacks proportional regional shares in both 3rd and 4th election terms.This paper, therefore, explores the status of women’s political empowerment/ representation in the public and political decision-making positions in Ethiopia in line with creating conducive conditions for policy implications (“National Gender Equality Policy”) towards the achievement of effective gender equality and/or reducing gender inequalityspecifically in the Gambella region as well as in Ethiopia in general.

Keywords:Assessment, Gender Mainstreaming, Gender Inequality, Gender Equality, Women’s Political Empowerment/Representation, and Gender Quotas.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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