International Day of Parliamentarism

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2024 Date30 June 2024
2025 Date30 June 2025

International Day of Parliamentarism

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The International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated every year on June 30th to commemorate the institutions of parliament and their role in promoting democracy, peace, and sustainability. This day recognizes the crucial work done by parliaments in representing the people, engaging in dialogue and debate, and making laws that reflect the needs and aspirations of their citizens.

South Africa has a unique history with parliamentarism as the country underwent a transformation from an authoritarian apartheid government to a democratic one, with its first democratic elections in 1994. The Parliament of South Africa is responsible for making laws that promote social justice, human rights, and sustainable development. The International Day of Parliamentarism in South Africa serves as a reminder of the essential role parliaments play in promoting democracy, transparency, and accountability. It also reminds us of the importance of robust democratic institutions for maintaining stability and development in society.

In South Africa, this day further supports the country's commitment to advancing the principles of democracy and peaceful coexistence. It provides an opportunity for parliamentarians and other stakeholders to reflect on their role in shaping national policies and programmes that contribute to the country's growth and prosperity. International Day of Parliamentarism is observed annually on June 30th.

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International Day of Parliamentarism facts

  • Parliamentary systems are typically either bicameral, consisting of 2 chambers, or unicameral, 1 chamber. According to the UN, out of 193 countries, 79 are bicameral and 114 are unicameral.
  • At the current rate of progress, gender parity in national legislative bodies will not be achieved before 2063.
  • About 60% of the world's countries operate under a parliamentary system, including Canada, Australia, India, Israel, Japan, and most Western European nations.
  • The National Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament, comprising currently 400 members, who are elected through a system of proportional representation. It is responsible for passing legislation, ensuring government accountability, and providing a forum for public debate.
  • South African parliamentarians have played a significant role in shaping policies related to human rights, equality, and social justice, with its constitution hailed as one of the most progressive in the world.

Top things to do in South Africa for this observance

  • Explore what makes a good parliament system.
  • Read about different countries' responses to Covid-19.
  • Watch Endgame(2009). This political thriller film is based on the real-life secret negotiations that took place between the African National Congress (ANC) and the National Party, which eventually led to the end of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.
  • Read a book to learn more about parliamentarism in South Africa. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Parliament, Politics and AIDs: A Comparative Study of Five African Parliaments by Delport, Estelle, and Steytler, Nico
    2. Politics in South Africa: From Mandela to Mbeki by Tom Lodge
    3. South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid by Nancy L. Clark and William H. Worger

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