- The Senegalese parliament yesterday overwhelmingly voted in favour of a bill that introduced gender parity on the lists of proportional representation that political parties should present for legislative polls in the country. Initiated by President Abdoulaye Wade, the passing of the bill means increase in the number of female members of parliament in Senegal's future parliament.
Deputies on the opposition bench boycotted the extra-ordinary parliamentary session as a sign of their anger against the bills. They are not alone in their anger, as religious leaders earlier expressed concern for the enforcement of such a law in a pre-dominantly Muslim society.
Serigne Bousso Dieng, the Chairman of the association of religious leaders in Senegal faulted the country's women intellectuals for advocating for gender parity which is not in tandem with the realities of the society.
But the Senegalese Interior Minister, Ousmane Ngom, who tabled the bill in parliament, defended that since women form majority of voters in the country, it is therefore fair for them to be adequately represented in parliament.
He described the passing of the as yet another victory for Senegalese democracy.
Under the new bill, 30 women MPs shall be appointed from the national list, which obviously doubles their representation in the next parliament. At present, 23 out of the 120-member parliament are women.
In her reaction to the bill, the chairwoman of the national movement of socialist women, Aminata Mbengue Ndiaye, urged the government to extend the gender parity law to cover national and departmental lists of parliamentary polls.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.