Just Add Women? Parliamentary Committees and the health sector in Africa

Just Add Women? Parliamentary Committees and the health sector in Africa
This policy paper examines the extent to which parliamentary committees provide women in African parliaments with an avenue for influencing laws and policies in the health sector.
Cover page of a study
01 June 2019
Authors
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Susan Dodsworth
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Nic Cheeseman
Introduction
A growing body of evidence shows that women have a substantive impact when they are included in legislatures, particularly when it comes to health. Yet, our understanding of how women in parliament achieve this impact remains poor. This policy paper helps to fill this gap by examining the extent to which parliamentary committees provide women in African parliaments with an avenue for influencing laws and policies in the health sector. It maps the inclusion of women in parliamentary committees across sub-Saharan Africa and presents a case study of Malawi, where in 2017 female legislators made use of parliamentary committees to influence a new law on HIV and AIDS – an issue of vital importance to women.