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The first round of the Presidential elections in Mali are scheduled to be held on Sunday July 28. The elections were initially scheduled for April 2012, but they were postponed due to a weak security situation after the coup d'état on March 21 2012.

 The Presidential Elections

There were initially 28 candidates, however, one have withdrawn saying the "electoral process was flawed".[1] Thus, in these Presidential elections there are 27 candidates, one of these is a woman.[2] The female candidate, Haider Aichata Cisse is from the north of Mali.[3]

The now scheduled elections constitute one part in the "roadmap for transition", which was adopted in January 2013 by the Mali National Assembly as a measure to calm the situation in the country.[4] Mali has since the beginning of 2012 seen internal conflicts, particularly in the Northern parts of the country, between rebel groups and Mali military forces. International forces have been present in the country to curb the violent conflicts.[5]

Parliamentary elections were set to be held on July 22 this year, but have been cancelled and no new date have been announced.[6] This points toward the unstable political and social situation in the country at present.

Questions have been raised as to whether the elections will actually take place on the 28th. This due to the fact that a large number of voters have not yet been registered. IN addition about 500,000 people have been displaced due to the conflict, adding to difficulties of voter registration.

 

Women's Representation

There is one woman candidate for the elections, however, in the pre-discussions she is not given a positive review regarding her chances to succeed.[7]

Women have played an important yet marginalised role in Mali politics. A few Ministerial posts are held by women as are seats in the National Assembly. There are no quotas regarding women's representation in decision-making bodies in the country.[8]

Women's position in the country is restricted by family codes and especially marriage legislation. Women's decision-making power within the family is limited through laws that for example, give the husband full right to decide where the family resides, and obliges the wife to follow. Furthermore, women are prohibited to start and run a business without her husbands consent.[9]

Women Political Participation Statistics

Women’s Political Representation

As of 2007

As of 2013

National Assembly

15/147(10.20%) [10]

Not yet available

Cabinet

6/29

6/29

 

Constitutional Court

3

13

 



[8] Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2004), Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Mali, Combined Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Periodic Reports of States Parties, CEDAW/C/MLI/2-5, CEDAW, New York, NY. Available for download at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/cedaws34.htm (accessed 5 November 2010)

[9] Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) (n.d.) ‘Gender and land rights database: Mali’, http://www.fao.org/gender/landrights/report/ (in French)

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