DRC: Proposed electoral law to promote women’s inclusion in politics passes first reading in National Assembly

In March, JHR-DRC gathered key decision-makers on electoral processes to kickstart a dialogue on addressing gender inequities in DRC politics 

On June 4, the National Assembly in DRC voted on a new draft law for the upcoming elections that incentivizes the inclusion of women in politics by waiving the deposit fee for political parties that submit candidacy lists comprising 50% women. This is the first time that an electoral law in DRC has explicitly prioritized gender parity. 

This draft law is the outcome of months of advocacy carried out by JHR-DRC and partner organizations. 

On 26 March and 28 May, JHR-DRC brought together representatives of the major national decision-making bodies, including the Presidency of the Republic, parliament, government experts, representatives of political parties as well as the media and civil society, to advocate together for a joint electoral law that promotes women’s participation in electoral competition. Both forums resulted in declarations calling on parliament and other decision-makers to provide the country with a law that promotes gender parity. 

Also, to push the public debate, JHR-DRC organized programs and forums through its media partners in Kinshasa and Bukavu on the advisability of an electoral law that encourages gender parity. JHR-DRC also has supported journalists to produce reports on the merits of an electoral law that takes gender into account.

Owing to these efforts, the draft law has now been sent to the Senate for a second reading in the coming weeks. 

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