Marie Michael Library
Decentralizing government and centralizing gender in Southern Africa: lessons from the South African experience
Decentralization is often presented as an important vehicle for increasing women's representation and political participation. However, the benefits for women of local government are not always obvious. When local government is impervious to social change it may be an unreliable site for the pursuit of gender equity. This paper explores decentralization and local democracy in Southern Africa. An overview of some of the issues is provided through a study of Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The paper then explores the case of South Africa, which has undergone a transition from apartheid, accompanied by a commitment to gender inclusive politics and policy.
Southern Africa, Decentralization, Gender equity