Women representation in legislative wings of the ICGLR Member States

In the Great Lakes Region, Member States have legislative wings that take two forms; bicameral legislature and unicameral legislature. A bicameral legislature simply refers to a particular body of government that consists of two legislative houses/ chambers (National Assembly/Lower House and Senate/Upper House)[1]. The ICGLR Member States that have adopted bicameral legislature include: Burundi, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Sudan.

A unicameral legislature, however, refers to a government with one legislative house or chamber (National Assembly/ Lower House)[2]. The ICGLR Member States that have adopted unicameral legislature include: Angola, Central African Republic (CAR), Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Two different matrices have been used to show the level of representation of women in legislative wings of the ICGLR Member States. The first matrix shows the female representation in Lower House/ National Assembly and the second matrix shows female representation in Upper House/ Senate respectively.[3]


[1] https://www.britannica.com/topic/unicameral-legislature

[2] https://constitution.laws.com/bicameral-legislature

[3] http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/arc/classif311207.htm

Table 1: Matrix Showing ICGLR Member State’s Women Representation in Lower Houses/ National Assemblies from 2007 to 2017

  ICGLR MEMBER STATES 20072008200920102011201220132014201520162017Country AnnualAvarage
ANGOLANO33/22082/22085/22085/22084/22075/22075/22081/22081/22081/22059/22033.93
%1537.2738.6438.6438.1834.0934.0936.8236.8236.8226.82
BURUNDINO36/11836/11837/11834/10632/10532/10532/10532/10544/12144/12144/12132.31
%30.5130.5131.3632.0830.4830.4830.4830.4836.3636.3636.36
C.A.RNO11/10511/10510/10410/10413/10413/104?[i]??10/13912/14010.12
%10.4810.489.629.6212.512.5???7.198.57
CONGO D.RNO42/50042/50042/50042/50044/49244/49244/49253/49844/49244/49244/4928.89
%8.48.48.48.48.98.98.910.648.948.948.94
CONGO REPUBLICNO10/13710/13710/13710/13710/13710/13610/13610/13610/13610/13617/1517.68
%7.37.37.37.37.37.357.357.357.357.3511.26
KENYANO15/20722/22422/22422/22422/22422/22465/35067/35069/35069/35076/35014.11
%7.259.829.829.829.829.8218.5719.1419.7119.7121.71
RWANDANO39/8045/8045/8045/8045/8045/8051/8051/8051/8051/8049/8058.75
%48.7556.2556.2556.2556.2556.2563.7563.7563.7563.7561.25
SUDANNO80/44380/44384/444114/44687/35487/35487/354121/498130/426130/426130/42624.56
%18.0618.0618.9225.5624.5824.5824.5824.330.5230.5230.52
SOUTH SUDANNO----88/33288/33288/33288/33288/332109/383109/38327.07
%----26.5126.5126.5126.5126.5128.4628.46
TANZANIANO97/31997/31999/323?126/350126/350126/350126/350125/350136/372145/39334.66
%30.4130.4130.6536.0[ii]363636363636.5637.18
UGANDANO102/332102/332102/324102/326135/386135/386136/33685/250135/386143/427154/44933.76
%30.7230.7231.531.2934.9734.9740.483434.9733.4934.3
ZAMBIANO24/15824/15822/15722/15418/15718/15718/15717/15820/15830/16730/16713.85
%15.1915.1914.0114.0111.4611.4611.4610.7612.6617.9617.96
ANNUAL REGIONAL AVERAGE%20.1923.1323.3224.4524.7524.4127.4727.2528.5127.2626.94

Regionally, there has been a steady increase in the annual average of women representation in Lower Houses/ National Assemblies in Member States.

Table 2: Matrix Showing ICGLR Member State’s Women Representation in Senate/ Upper House from 2007 to 2017

ICGLR MEMBER STATES 20072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
BURUNDINO17/4917/4916/4919/4119/4119/4119/4119/4118/4318/4318/39
%34.734.732.746.346.346.346.346.341.941.946.15
CONGO REPUBLICNO8/609/709/709/7010/7210/7210/7214/7214/7214/7214/71
%13.312.912.919.913.913.913.919.419.419.419.72
D.R CONGONO5/1085/1085/1085/1085/1086/1086/1086/1085/1085/1085/108
%4.64.64.64.64.65.65.65.64.64.64.63
KENYA[i]NO------18/6818/6818/6818/6821/68
%------26.526.526.526.530.88
RWANDANO9/269/269/269/2610/2610/2610/2610/2610/2610/2610/26
%34.634.634.634.638.538.538.538.538.538.538.46
SUDANNO3/503/503/504/465/285/285/285/2919/5419/5419/54
%66.7610.917.917.917.917.235.235.235.19
SOUTH SUDANNO----4/504/504/505/506/506/506/50
%----10101010101212

In the same vein, the annual regional average percentage of women in Upper Houses/Senates within the region has also risen steadily.


[i] On 26 March 2013 the legislature was dissolved by a coup and elections only took place later in 2015. The 2015 elections however were nullified and elections finally took place in 2016

[ii] The preferred sources gave no percentage of how many women were in parliament in 2010. However, because elections were held in 2010 according to http://www.electionguide.org/elections/, an assumption can be made that the change in percentage to a constant 36.0 from 30.7 happened in 2010. This assumption will therefore be maintained with some reservation but in this case is necessary for the purpose of calculating annual average.

[iii] Kenya had no Senate from 1966 till 4 March 2013 under the new constitution, which was passed during the 2010 referendum.