The quest for national integration in Africa: the roles of political parties and women
This paper seeks to interrogate the place of women and political parties towards the quest for national integration in Africa. It assessed various declarations and policy options put in place by the United Nations (UN) on gender equality; empowerment and participation. However, this investigation is premised on secondary sources of data collection and data were analysed through content analysis. It adopted Feminists theories along with national integration theories these were with the view to address the objectives of the paper. Part of UN findings and 1985 Beijing declaration is on the notion that the active involvement of women in politics in strategic positions will ensure national cohesion and development, and also through functional political institutions. Conversely, the findings by the Bulgaria Gender Research Foundation (BGRF) as of 2001 strongly negates this perception, women seem to be unprepared for national issues. This paper has revealed that formation of political parties and its laws represent the choice of the people but implementation prior to elections, during elections and post-election have been skewed towards men whose inclinations undermined prerequisites for national integration. It added that leadership in Africa has undermined the active involvement of women in all areas of life. This paper concludes and recommended among other prevailing variables, that the UN declaration on gender equality, participation and holistic decision should be implemented couple with other institutional mandates on women.
Keywords: National integration; Political parties; United Nations, Women, Africa