Gabonese Appreciate Policies Favourable To Women

More than 80 per cent of Gabonese appreciate the level of representation of women in state institutions, while 75 per cent say they are satisfied with the laws in place in favour of women.

According to the just published results of the 8th Afrobarometer, an independent Panafrican non-profit network, which produces data on the experiences and appreciations of Africans relating to the quality of life, governance and democracy, a majority of Gabonese are gladdened by government actions in favour of women and the girl child.

The study was undertaken within the backdrop of public debates in Gabon focused on the opportunities open to the female gender in various state institutions, including political and professional spheres.

“As concerns the question as to whether Gabonese women are well represented within state institutions, 80 per cent of Gabonese are of the opinion that the level of representation of the Gabonese women in state institutions is acceptable. On the other hand, 75 per cent of Gabonese hold that the number of laws in favour of the female gender is considerable. To them, the policies in favour of parity between the females and males in the country are appreciable since the government protects young girls from all forms of violence,” the study found.

The Afroborometer study found that eight out of 10 Gabonese estimate that women are “well” or “somewhat well” represented in the institutions of the country while 51 per cent assessed as “somewhat good” the national laws in favour of gender equality while 24 per cent consider the laws “very good”.

In the final analysis, 56 per cent of Gabonese interviewed said that the government had been responding “very well” or “somewhat well” to the need to protect girls from all forms of violence.

However, a citizen, Ngono Gerald in the capital Libreville, said: “The problem we have in this country is that of respecting the plethora of laws passed by our legislators. 

“Most times one has the impression that government formulates certain laws just because of pressure from external sources and international lending organisations which attach some strict conditions on lending which force government to pass certain laws knowing full well that they would not enforce them.

“Many of the laws being hailed today are hardly respected and government knew they would be flouted even as they were drafting them. We are all watching to see how the recently-passed law on same sex marriages would be implemented.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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