Press Release

UN Lauds Eswatini for Global Leadership in Women Representation in 2023 Elections

14 March 2024

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) recognises Eswatini for highest progress in women representation in 2023 national elections.

The United Nations in Eswatini has applauded Eswatini’s recognition for increased women representation in parliament.  In its report, the International Parliamentary Union has recognized Eswatini as one of the top performers globally for increased women representation in the 2023 elections.

Eswatini recorded the highest progress in women’s representation among countries that held elections around the world in 2023, with a 20-percentage-point increase in its upper chamber, the Senate. Overall, Eswatini was ranked third at 14.4% for both upper and lower houses after Benin and Sierra Leone, with increases of 18.5 and 15.9 percentage points respectively.

UN Resident Coordinator in Eswatini, Mr. George Wachira, commended the country's leadership and its people for their concerted efforts towards achieving gender parity in Parliament. Mr. Wachira noted that His Majesty King Mswati III personally advocated for the election of more women to Parliament when he dissolved parliament in July 2023 ahead of the September elections. "Eswatini's performance in the 2023 elections is a testament to the power of strong leadership and the willingness of its citizens to embrace progress. His Majesty's direct appeal has been instrumental in achieving this milestone This achievement serves as a shining example to the world of what can be accomplished when leadership and citizens unite for a common cause,” stated Mr. Wachira.

However, the journey towards gender equality does not end here. Mr. Wachira emphasized the importance of sustaining this momentum and extending it beyond the parliamentary level. "The great progress is still relative compared to global standards and aspirations. It is crucial that we continue to strive for increased women representation across all levels of the electoral process, including the local government elections. This will ensure that we retain a strong base for women’s leadership and that women's voices are heard and their perspectives are integrated into the national development agenda from the ground up," he added, pointing out that the SADC 50-50 gender parity aspiration is within Eswatini’s reach.

Sibusiso Mngadi

Sibusiso Mngadi

Coordination Officer - Programme Communications and Advocacy
Coordinator - UN Eswatini Communications and Advocacy

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