Low participation in upcoming parliament ‘marginalizes women’: activists
Egyptian parliament - YOUM7 (Archive)
By SAMAR SAMIR

CAIRO:  Despite strong participation by women in the presidential election and in protests, they will hold less than 4 percent of the seats in the upcoming parliament, which a number of activists are calling political marginalization.

“Women’s participation in the parliamentary listed system is very weak,” Al-Wafd Party member and former parliamentarian Margaret Azer told The Cairo Post on Sunday.

“Women are unable to run for individual seats due to certain reasons such as funding the campaigning and the culture of domination of the male election in the society,” she said, suggesting 50 percent of the lists systems for the parliament seats should include “appropriate representation.”

“The parliamentary law stirs anger among women as it provides them 24 seats out of 603. This percentage is very low and contradicts the constitution,” said head of the National Council for Human Rights Mervat Talway in a symposium on women role in the presidential elections and in the constitution on Saturday.

Women have suffered from marginalization after the January 25 Revolution; the 50-member committee of writing Egypt constitution has no women representatives, she added in an interview with Misr al-Hadath on Arabyia Net May 22, adding that she had submitted proposals for women to hold 130 seats.

On May 14, the council asks for amending the parliamentary election law as the women participation should commensurate with number of women in society.

Of the total 89 million Egyptians in January 2014, 41 million are women, according to an official from Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Sunday.

According to Article 11 of the constitution, “the state shall endeavor to take measures to ensure an adequate representation of women in the parliamentary assemblies, as determined by law,” however the law has no guarantees.

“This low participation of women could harm the democratic process,” said Mona Ezat, the director of women program of New Women Foundation Sunday.

“This presentation is unfair, however, women should have successful platforms to get support in the upcoming parliamentary elections,” she added.

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