Women in Politics

Voices from the Commonwealth

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A collection of profiles of thirty-three women in politics from eleven Commonwealth countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Dominica, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda. The profiles illustrate the diversity of experience across the Commonwealth, and highlight the realities of life for many women. The stories these dedicated and courageous women relate sharpen the focus on existing and potential challenges and barriers which face women politicians.

Women in Politics: Voices from the Commonwealth shows that to a large extent the degree of women’s integration into political life depends on the system of values prevalent in a society, and on established political patterns. On another level, it is a study which uses these retold experiences to analyse the different strategies women could develop, refine and adopt to build successful political careers.




Malaysia is a Federation consisting of eleven states of peninsular Malaysia and the two states of Sarawak and Sabah located on the northern coast of the island of Kalimantan (Borneo). Commanding the Malacca Strait, one of the world's main sea-lanes, the Malay peninsula has historically been a point of contact between peoples from other parts of Asia, a fact which finds reflection in its ethnically and culturally diverse population. Today, more than half its inhabitants are Malays, speakers of an Austronesian language called Malay and predominantly Muslim.


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