Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No women elected to Egypt's parliament in first round

Woman voting in Egypt. Photo credit Carnegie Endowment.

Crowd in Tahrir Friday, December 2. Note veiled woman in jeans in foreground. Photo credit, the author.

Dear readers

No women have been elected from the lists in Egypt's first round of elections. In addition, absolutely no women made it into runoffs from the single winner component of the election in the first round.

I spoke with high ranking women activists in Egypt. Many said that the most important consideration was not gender, but the electability of the candidates. This makes a lot of sense in the single-winner portion of the elections, but I am wondering if this argument makes as much sense for the list portion of the election.

It appears people voted based on what they felt the electoral blocks, or parties represented. They did not vote so much based on the individual candidate. This position of mine appears to be strengthened by the fact that people's preferences in the single-winner portion of the election closely tracked their behavior in the list section.

I find the absence of women in the first round particularly distressing for two reasons. First, women are at least 50% of the Egyptian population. Second, there is a concern that some parties that have recently been elected do not believe that women have the right to hold complex or high profile jobs.

The secular political parties need to rethink their strategy on getting women elected. In particular, it appears that if secular parties want women to get elected, they need to place them in slots 1 or 2 in selected districts where the party is expected to do well.  ~WMB

1 comment:

  1. “Duaa for Egypt” Campaign حملة الدعاء من أجل مصر

    AsSalaamu alaykum

    Nu'man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah said, 'The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever'. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Brothers and Sisters with all the disturbing events that have and are happening in Egypt, please make Duaa دعاء for the stabilization of Egypt and the rectification of the rulers.

    So may Allah (SWT) protect Egypt, the Egyptian people, and the Egyptian rulers and us; guide them and us to the haqq and firmness upon it; rectify all of our affairs; the affairs of the Muslim rulers and all those they rule over.

    May Allah accept,

    Universal Union of Egyptian Expatriates

    ABOUT THIS CAUSE هدف هذه الحملة هو طلب العون من الله لنعبر ببلدنا إلى بر الأمان

    اللهم احفظ مصر واهلها وكل ما فيها