About the Project

Project Title

Women and Political Participation in Africa: A Comparative Study of the Representation and Role of Female Chiefs.

Project Implementation Period

The project implementation period is three years. Implementation commenced April, 2019 and is expected to be completed by April, 2022.

About - Focus of the Study

In this project, a mixed-methods approach is adopted to comparatively study women’s representation in the institution of chieftaincy and their influence on women’s rights and wellbeing in Botswana, Ghana, Liberia, and South Africa. The study also probes if and how women in government have supported women in their efforts to become chief. In each country, the research team will conduct interviews, a survey, and focus group discussions in four communities, two with female chiefs, and two without.

This will allow for a comparative analysis of the representation and impacts of female chiefs. The findings of this project will advance the gender and politics and African studies literatures. The study will explain how female chiefship is evolving and the effects of female chiefs on women and on governance, security, and justice more broadly. The findings will also inform policy initiatives that seek to advance women’s rights and wellbeing in the countries studied.

They will show how female chiefs can be incorporated into, and contribute to the effective implementation of women’s rights initiatives.

1. How have the roles of female chiefs evolved in the selected communities?

2. How have female politicians influenced the representation of female chiefs in the selected communities?

3. How does the presence of female chiefs (in comparison to male chiefs) affect women’s rights and wellbeing in the selected communities?