USA: Election of 65 Women into Senegal's 150-Member Parliament Excites Clinton

Friday, August 3, 2012
North America
United States of America
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

On the first of her two-day visit to Senegal, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Wednesday hailed the increasing role of women in the country's politics, especially the election of 65 women into its 150-member National Assembly (parliament), PANA reported from here.

'I was particularly impressed that Senegalese voters elected women to 65 of the 150 seats in the new National Assembly. You probably know this, but that gives Senegal one of the highest percentage of women in directly-elected legislative bodies in the world,'she said in a wide-ranging speech at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.

'And of course, it makes perfect sense because democracies must be open to and include all of their people, men and women, not just to vote, but to have the chance to participate and to lead. And Senegalese women took a leadership role during the voting, including the Women's Platform for Peaceful Elections, a network of more than 60 organizations,' she said.

Senegal is the first stop in the Secretary of State's six-nation swing across Africa, in what may be her last visit to the continent as the US top diplomat.

Mrs Clinton is also expected to visit South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa during her 11-day, 31 July-10 Aug. trip, which she will use to emphasize U.S. policy commitments outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive - to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens.