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Fewer than half of MP candidates are women - IEC

IEC chair Glen Mashinini said while more can be done to improve gender parity, the list of candidates presented encapsulates the plurality of the South African nation.

IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini at the handing over of the list of members of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures to the chief justice. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) revealed that fewer than half of the candidates put forward by all political parties to serve in Parliament were women.

The electoral body presented the list of candidates to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at the Constitutional Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The list included a total of 830 names, with only 42.2% of that number being women.

The candidates' average age is 50.

IEC chair Glen Mashinini said while more could be done to improve gender parity, the list of candidates presented on Wednesday encapsulated the plurality of the South African nation.

“They represent the diversity of our country in all its vibrant colours, cultures, languages, religions and tradition. They indeed manifest the rainbow nation that has to characterise our country since the dawn of the new democracy.”

Parliament was expected to use the list created after last week's election results to help it prepare for the swearing-in ceremony.

The sixth Parliament will officially open mid-May, and at the centre of this will be the allocation of seats to MPs based on party lists.

South Africa has a bicameral Parliament with two houses.

The National Assembly is the house directly elected by voters, while the National Council of Provinces is elected by legislatures that send delegates to look after its interests.

WATCH: IEC hands over MP candidate lists

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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