Egypt: Law allocates 64 parliamentary seats for women
ECWR sees that is a good initiative which has been demanded by women rights' organizations since 1995 ECWR hopes that this initiative is not limited to only the parliament, but will also extend to councils and political parties, in order for women's representation to reach a proportion of 30%.
On the other hand, ECWR is concerned about the law's application for only two parliamentary sessions. This fixed limit contradicts the aim of this quota, which is to be a tool for changing the attitudes of society. Two parliamentary sessions is not enough time to change the attitudes of a generation, and thus it should be extended to four parliamentary sessions.
In addition, we hope that the quota system will lead to a change from the current per capita system to a list system, which will provide more opportunities for all marginalized groups to participate and strengthen political parties and political culture.
It is worth mentioning that the quota system has been applied in 77 countries, in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Women representation has increased significantly in decision-making bodies and concerned bodies. These systems provided an effective mechanism for building-up the competency and capacity of women in the political field, which has proven tangible upon evaluation.
ECWR stresses the need to work in conjunction with all political parties, political powers, and civil society organizations to encourage and support women in the wake of the new quota system. There is a substantial need for increasing society's awareness to accept and support women's political participation.
18 June 2009
Source: The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights