Women on the Rise in African Politics
Africa now has three female heads of state, after Catherine Samba-Panza of the Central African Republic took office in January. Though women leaders remain the exception in African politics, activists say things are looking up.
Each of these women has taken office amid crisis and transition. Countries like Mali have seen their first female presidential candidates. Bad times are finally prying the doors open.
Discrimination remains, but the pool of qualified women is growing as more girls get to stay in school.
At least 16 African countries have passed parity laws. Countries like Rwanda reserve a percentage of parliamentary seats for women, while others like Senegal have set quotas for women on candidate lists.