Critical Mass of Women Legislators and Oversight for National ICT Policy of Malawi

Critical Mass of Women Legislators and Oversight for National ICT Policy of Malawi

Frank Makoza (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6912-1.ch048

Abstract

This article analyses how the representation of women legislators may affect the oversight of national ICT policy. The article uses Critical Mass Theory (CMT) to explain the composition of the Media and Communications Committee (MCC) of parliament. The case of Malawi is analysed, which represented a low-income economy in Africa. The article uses electoral reports and legislative documents. The results show that women legislators in the MCC achieved a critical mass despite the decrease in the representation of women in parliament. The women legislators have the opportunity to support gender issues related to ICT legislations and national ICT policy oversight. However, the functions of MCC related to national ICT policy oversight were not aligned with the gender equity strategies. This may affect the priority of gender issues in the policy oversight. The article contributes towards literature on national ICT policy oversight in the context of developing countries.
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2. Literature Review

This section presents the literature review for the study and begins with discussing the representation of women in parliament. This is followed by the description of national ICT policy. The challenges of participation of women in parliaments are discussed followed by the summary of the context of the study.

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