Women’s Representation in African Politics: From Liberia to Tanzania

Globally, the share of women represented in government is rising. In 2018, the number of female ministers in the world reached a peak of 20.7%, meaning that out of the 3,922 ministers worldwide, 812 of them were women. This increase in female leadership is particularly pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa where, on March 19, 2021, Tanzania swore in its first female president.

Liberia was the first country in Africa to democratically elect a female head of state in 2006; since then, female representation in African politics has grown. Nevertheless, there remain pertinent questions surrounding the substantive role of women in politics for the resolution of gendered issues, such as sexual and domestic violence, financial incapacity, and access to education. The Tanzanian case, however, indicates that things are headed in the right direction.

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