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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Political participation of women in Lesotho: the case of Molefi Ts'epe v The Independent Electoral Commission and Others, judgment of 30 June 2005
Authors:Viljoen, FransISNI
Nsibirwa, MartinISNI
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:Lesotho
Subjects:local councils
gender inequality
election law
affirmative action
Abstract:In contrast with the political marginalization of women at the national level, the Lesotho legislature in 2004 instituted a gender-based quota system at the local level. In terms of this system, a third of the seats in electoral councils in local elections are reserved for female candidates. Responding to a constitutional challenge against this innovation, the Lesotho Court of Appeal in Molefi Ts'epe v The Independent Electoral Commission and others held that 'positive measures', such as the electoral quota system, conformed with Lesotho's international obligations and constituted a justifiable limitation to the rights under the Constitution. Against the background of pervasive discrimination against women in Lesotho, this decision is a small but significant step in a process that should accelerate after the ratification by Lesotho and the entry into force of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa subsequent to the decision. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]