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MadagascarDolor Sit Amet

AMadagascar, a country in southern Africa located in the Indian Ocean east of Mozambique, is the fifth largest island in the world, with a land mass of 587,000 square kilometers and 24.24 million inhabitants in 2016. Its economy is based essentially on agriculture, particularly vanilla, and tourism. Given its unique biodiversity, it is very vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Because of its remoteness, Madagascar was not settled by humans until around 2.000 years ago. The Malagasy -- the name for the people of the island -- are descended from Indonesians who made their way across the Indian Ocean. Arabs and Africans arrived later and made important contributions to the unique cultural practices found on the island.

Political Profile/Structure/System

Politics of Madagascar takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Madagascar is head of state and the Prime Minister of Madagascar is head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Senate and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Elections and Political Parties

Madagascar elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president is elected for a five-year term by the people, by absolute majority through a two-round system. The Parliament has two chambers. The National Assembly has 151 members, elected for a five-year term in single-member and two-member constituencies. In single-member constituencies, representatives are elected by simple majority, in the two-member constituencies, closed party lists are used, with the two seats distributed using a highest averages method.

Elections and Political Parties cont
 The Senate has 33 members, 22 members elected by the regions by provincial electors, and 11 members appointed by the president, all for 5 year terms.
In Madagascar, most of the constituencies elect one, some of them two, members of the national assembly. This means that the political party with most votes may get an absolute majority in the national assembly without an absolute majority of the votes. This system makes coalition governments less likely.
Political parties:
AKFM- Party of the Independence Congress of Madagascar.
AREMA- Association for the rebirth of Madagascar.

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By the Numbers

While women have admittedly gained more representation in the political arena, there are still major discrepancies between female political participation and that of their male counterparts (Brown & Diekman, 2013). This is the case with regard to politics as well as business and other aspects of daily life. As of January 2014, there are only nine heads of state who are women and fourteen women who are heads of government. Women also only form 21.8% of national parliamentarians and 17% of government ministers are women (United Nations Women, 2014). In all of the history of the United States, only 44 women have served in the Senate, and 32 have ever been elected as governors (Center for American Women and Politics, 2014).
 The active participation of women in leadership is an integral part of development, as women constitute half of the world’s population (World Bank, 2013). Non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations such as the United Nations (United Nations Women, 1979) advocate for a more equitable participation of women in leadership positions and more participation of women in decision-making in general.
Lower house
Seat: 151; Women: 29; % Women: 19.2%
Upper house
Seats: 63; women: 13; % women: 20.6%
Participation and Inclusion
The National Plan of Action was launched on 26 January 2009 at a seminar at the Hotel Carlton, Antananarivo, attended by Dagny Mjos (representative of the Norwegian Embassy in Madagascar).