Gender issues: Women's representation in the Lower House of Parliament

Updated May 2015

The following table supplies information on the proportion of women in the lower house of parliaments of Southern African countries. As far as is possible, every effort has been made to exclude nominated and ex officio members from the tallies.

Links on this page go to pages providing further detail on the subject for that specific country.

Country System Year % Seats
ANGOLA Proportional representation 2008 37.4
1992 9.5
BOTSWANA Single member plurality
Figures before 1989 not available
2014 9.52
2009 6.56
2004 11.48
1999 18.18
1994 9.09
1989 5.26
DRC Multiple Member Plurality 2006 8.4
LESOTHO Mixed member compensatory 2007 25
2002 11.67
Single member plurality 1998 3.8
1993 4.6
MADAGASCAR Multi member plurality
2007 9.45
2002 3.75
1998 8
1993 No data
1989 No data
1983 1.48
1973 No data
1970 5.61
MALAWI Single member plurality 2014 16.67
2009 20.83
2004 14.44
1999 9.33
1994 5.65
MAURITIUS Multiple Member Plurality 2010 18.84
2005 17.14
2000 5.71
1995 7.58
1991 3.03
1987 7.14
1983 5.71
1982 4.55
1976 4.28
MOZAMBIQUE Proportional representation 2009 38.4*
2004 35.60
1999 29.20
1994 25.20
NAMIBIA Proportional representation 2009 22.22
2004 25
1999 25
1994 18.1
1989 6.9
SEYCHELLES Mixed member parallel 2007 23.53
2002 29.41
1998 24
1993 27.3
SOUTH AFRICA Proportional representation
2014 40.75
2009 43
2004 32.75
1999 30
1994 27.75
SWAZILAND Single member plurality 2008 18.6**
2003 16.4
1998 3.6
1993 3.1
TANZANIA Mixed member parallel 2005 29.97
Single member plurality with gender quota 2000 21.51
1995 16.73
Single member plurality with reserved women's seats 1990 8.68
1985 9.62
1980 3.59
1975 6.28
1970 4.64
1965 3.28
1961 7.59
ZAMBIA Single member plurality 2006 14
2001 12.67
1996 10.67
1991 6.67
ZIMBABWE Single member plurality 2008 14.29
2005 16.67
2000 9.33
1995 14.67
1990 14
1985 8
Proportional representation (80%)
Single member plurality (20%)
1980 9

Table notes

* Preliminary figure for 2009. For this analysis, the gender of MPs was determined by looking at their first names, and in a dozen cases their gender was difficult to ascertain by this method, and therefore needs to be further verified (the dubious names were left out, therefore the numbers below may present a slight under-representation of women).

** In December 2009, more than a year after the 2008 elections, the indirect election of the four additional women members had still not been conducted (For constitutional provisions see Women's representation quotas). Thus the actual proportion of women members was 12.7% (see Women's representation in the House of Assembly).