Did you know that in 2016 the number of women MPs stood at 23.3%? In 2017, the number of women in parliament increased slightly to 23.4%- improving, but slowly. We need to change that!

Leigh-Ann Mathys, EFF Treasurer, Tasneem Motara, ANC Provincial Whip and Magdalene Moonsamy, attorney and founder of the Women’s Justice Foundation, and former EFF treasurer share how they became members of parliament, to give you a guide to beginning your political journey.

Get elected

Leigh-Ann Mathys

‘We have elective conferences, where our members in the country say these are the people who we want to lead us nationally. I was elected on that platform. You need to be present, hardworking, and your members, branches and delegates that are attending the elective conference need to know that you’re there on the ground, reliable, performing. If you get deployed to parliament, they must see that their hard work as a ground force (canvassing and getting seats in Parliament), is not wasted.’

Tasneem Motara

‘I joined the African National Congress (ANC) about 16 years ago. I grew up in a very politically active home: some of my family members were in exile, and some of them are still active in politics. I am assigned to the Benoni constituency, because ANC policy tries, as much as possible, to deploy MPs to the constituencies that they are from. I was born and raised in Benoni and have lived in the area my whole life. I know the issues that affect the majority of people in the area. I joined the ANC Youth League in 2000, serving in Benoni in the East Rand (now known as Ekurhuleni), and I served the ANCYL right up until 2013. I have been in the ANC Branch Executive Committee of different wards and branches in Benoni, and I am currently a member of the Regional Executive Committee of the ANC in Ekhurhuleni.’

Get elected

Magdalene Moonsamy

‘My best piece of advice for young girls wanting to get into politics is to do so having prepared yourself with the necessary information. Read, read, read, collect knowledge and ensure that resilience comes from the soul, because politics is not an easy space. At the core of every young person is education attached to values, principles and integrity.’

Find out how to get involved, how to get started and read more good advice here.