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Seychelles gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1976 and established a multi-party system in 1993. Domestic and international observers have since classified elections as being fair, free and transparent. Two elections took place in 2011 in the Seychelles: presidential in May and legislative in October. The turnout for both elections was high with 74% of voters casting their ballot for the national assembly elections and 85% during the presidential elections in May.

14 women (out of 32) are members of the National Assembly, which ranks the Seychelles fifth in terms of numbers of women in national parliaments worldwide and third (after Rwanda and South Africa) in Africa. Women won 11 of the 25 seats filled under the majority system and three women were nominated under the compensatory seats, bringing the total number of women to 14 out of the full 32 members.

In the Presidential elections, there was no female contender among the four main candidates.

Women’s rights in the Seychelles

The Seychelles is one of the few African countries where women’s rights and equalities are enshrined in the constitution and implemented in society. Furthermore, the Seychelles has ratified numerous international agreements and treaties on the rights of women, including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 9th of March 2006 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on 5th of May 1992ii.


Women in the Seychelles have similar political, social, economic and legal rights as men and have equal access to health care. The literacy rate is high at 91% and is the same for men and womeniii. Furthermore, women appear to have the same access to primary, secondary and tertiary education than men. The society of the Seychelles is largely matriarchal and inheritance laws do not discriminate against women. Moreover, no officially sanctioned discrimination against women seemed to be occurring on the work placeiv.


While domestic violence is punished by up to 20 years of prison, there was still several reports of such violence taking place and incest continued to be a problem, especially for girls under 15 being abused by a male relativev.

Women in the Seychelles are an integral part of decision-making processes and participate actively in all spheres of life, as is reflected by their presence in the national assembly.


The main concern for women in Seychelles – similarly to women in numerous other countries - is gender-based violence, including domestic violence, incest and rape. The government has already taken important steps in tackling this problem and has notably launched a website www.genderseychelles.gov.sc which provides information on gender issues, developments and women’s rights in the country and abroad.


Women’s Political Participation Recent Statistics

Political Representation

Following the elections of October 2011vi

President

James Michel

Vice President (no Prime Minister)

Danny Faure

Number of women in the Council of Ministers

3 out of 10 ministers

National Assembly

14 out of a total of 32 seats (43.75%)

Number of women who ran for presidential election in 2011

None (out of the four main candidates)

 

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