Not in a day!

It must go without saying that women’s representation in politics is important. To have proportional women representation in the parliament is important. This is considering the fact that an increased women’s representation in parliament or local governments for that matter will ensure that women’s voices are heard equally when it comes to making decisions that mostly affect their world.

It may sound ironical but nonetheless true that most important laws and acts concerning women and children are today deliberated and passed on by parliamentarians that mostly comprise men. So why not we have women on board who could decide what is best for them and their future?

And come elections, it has become a trend among the media and other NGOs and CSOs concerning women and children to assess how many women are taking part in the elections and how many of them are elected to positions. A few may offer their felicitation to the elected ones, while a few offer their condolences. And there arrives a few political critics, reasoning the difficulties for women to get elected to political positions.

While we may say that women remain seriously underrepresented in decision-making positions despite the population of women equaling that of men, numerically women representation in politics is on the rise. The 14.4% women representation for the third parliamentary elections is commendable, considering the fact that 2013 elections saw 6.9% women representation, and 13.9% percent women representation in 2008. This is a good indication. Further, the heartening thing is more women are coming forward unlike in the past. Albeit negligibly, it’s heartening that the scenario is changing.

It’s heartening that there have been debates rife over the years in introducing gender quotas to bring about proportionate women representation in governance, besides NGOs and CSOs organizing consultation conferences and workshops on women in politics. It must be acknowledged that enough has been done at least in terms of facilitating women’s entry into politics.

A certain section, nonetheless, feels that less women representation in politics is an urgent national issue and understandably the panic that the number must equal that of the other sex or shouldn’t be less. Perhaps, blinded by gender equality, we feel that there must be equal women representation by five years or a decade, no matter what.

Clichéd it may sound, but we can learn from this infamous adage that Rome wasn’t built in a day. The expression basically underlines the importance of patience and that important work takes time. Histories are abounded with stories and atrocities against women. There have been discriminations against women that stems from the society’s attitudinal, behavioral, cultural and religious beliefs. Having said that, we must understand that our journey has begun, a notably one, and we must let time take its course.