Women of African Islands: Rights, Representation, and Participation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


With a total population of around 30 million, the islands of Africa offer a particular perspective on the rights, representation, and experience of women in the continent. Although there are varying trends in terms of opportunities and socioeconomic dynamics, women in islands such as Seychelles and Cabo Verde have acquired, over time, significant gains in terms of gender equality, increased labor participation, and representation in Parliament. However, this chapter shows that despite some of the archipelago states in Africa being recognized as leading examples in the region for good governance for well over a decade, this success has not translated into significant progress in the representation of women in Parliament, decision-making bodies, as well as in overall gender equality in society. Therefore, as the good governance agenda is mostly dominated by a neoliberal, market-based ideology, it has failed to align gender equality with good governance practice. This has meant that despite the relative stability and prosperity that some islands have experienced, women for the most part have not been able to enjoy full rights and participation in society alongside their male counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of African Women's Studies
EditorsOlajumoke Yacob-Haliso, Toyin Falola
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-28099-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-28098-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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