Women in Politics

Voices from the Commonwealth

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A collection of profiles of thirty-three women in politics from eleven Commonwealth countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Dominica, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda. The profiles illustrate the diversity of experience across the Commonwealth, and highlight the realities of life for many women. The stories these dedicated and courageous women relate sharpen the focus on existing and potential challenges and barriers which face women politicians.

Women in Politics: Voices from the Commonwealth shows that to a large extent the degree of women’s integration into political life depends on the system of values prevalent in a society, and on established political patterns. On another level, it is a study which uses these retold experiences to analyse the different strategies women could develop, refine and adopt to build successful political careers.




Like Australia, Canada is a “new” country superimposed on ancient foundations: for centuries it has been home to native Indian populations and its contact with Europe dates back to the Norse explorations of the eleventh century AD. In the modern period, its history was dominated by rivalry between two colonial powers - the French and the British - for control of its land and abundant natural resources. Formal resolution of this conflict came in 1763, with the expulsion of the French from continental North America at the end of the Seven Years' War.


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