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Govt should account for none adherence of constitution

image not over: Women Development Consultancy Director Doo Aphane.

The issue of women participation in parliament seems far from being over as Women for Women Development Consultancy Director Doo Aphane says women are part of Swaziland and have an obligation and right to have full participation in the Houses of Parliament.

The issue of women participation in parliament seems far from being over as Women for Women Development Consultancy Director Doo Aphane says women are part of Swaziland and have an obligation and right to have full participation in the Houses of Parliament.

Speaking on an emotional tone, Doo Aphane says government should accounts for failure to adhere to the country’s constitution which states that there should be at least 30 percent women participation is the August House. According to Aphane, the constitution clearly states that in the event women where not elected during the national elections, at least four of them should be elected by the House of Assembly in order to have full participation.

One female member of parliament was elected during the recent national elections out of the 55 Tinkhundla centers and this being none other than Mbabane East’s Ester Dlamini while all the former female MP’s crashed out. “Our dignity should be restored as there is a clear provision in the constitution about women participation in Parliament, a constitution that was accepted and presented to us by the King” she said. 

Speaking ahead of the International Women’s day celebrations commemorated globally, Aphane said they would not accept any paper tiger and would  see to it that the constitution was  adhered to.  

Manzini North Member of Parliament Jan Sithole has been persistently raising the issue of the election of four women to meet the quota for women participation as per the constitution dictates.

However, the prime minister during his submission in Parliament said the election of the four women couldn’t be done for now and that a law should be put in place first before such could  happen. 

The Coordinating Assemble for Non Governmental Organisations (CANGO) and in conjunction with other women organisations, was expected to deliver a petition to Parliament on the same issue this week.

 Briefly about Doo Aphane
Doo Aphane LL.M Law and Development, Director, Women for Women Development Consultancy Doo is a lawyer by profession, a human rights and gender specialist, working as Director of Women for Women Development Consultancy. 
She is the founding National Coordinator of Women and Law in Southern Africa Trust (Swaziland chapter). 
She has conducted action research in different family law areas, leading to several co-authored publications on family law. 
Doo has also worked as founding regional coordinator for Women’s Legal Rights Initiative operating in six Southern African countries; Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa. 
positioning
She was also instrumental in positioning women in the constitutional review process that lead to the adoption of National Constitution in 2005. 
In 2009, she litigated against the Swaziland Government to uphold her constitutional rights and those of similarly positioned fellow Swazi women.
Doo was instrumental in a legal battle with government that eventually allowed for the first time in the history of Swaziland, women married under community of property would be able to have “immovable property, bonds, and other real rights” registered in their name.
 

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