The under-representation of women in Mauritian parliament
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The introduction of legislation aimed at decreasing gender imbalances in Mauritius has not led to an increase in women's access to parliament. While Mauritius is not unique in this, it is an interesting case to examine because Mauritius prides itself on being a leader in Africa as a democratic and strong middle-income country that has achieved success in many socio-economic areas. But Mauritius is faced with a paradox: despite its abundance of gender-related legislation, it is lagging behind in gender equality at the national level, as manifest by the few women in parliament. Regarding this issue, little research has been done to examine the challenges of translating legislative gains into actual change. Albie Sachs, former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa (2002), summarizes the Mauritian case by stating: Mauritius can justly be proud of the admiration which its democratic life enjoys internationally. It cannot, however, hold up its head in terms of participation of women in political life. When half the population ends up with only a one-twentieth share of representation, it manifests a grave democratic deficit (as cited in Athal, 2012, p. 17).
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