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.




The Republic of Seychelles, located in the western Indian Ocean some thousand miles to the east of Kenya, is an archipelago comprising roughly 115 islands. French colonists with their black slaves began arriving on the previously uninhabited islands in the late eighteenth century, and were joined later by deportees from France. In the early nineteenth century the French and the British battled for control of the strategically sensitive islands, and in 1814 the territory was formally ceded to the British.


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