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Quota is increased to allow more women MPs

Video by Ygal SAADOUN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-11-27

Some say it is a cynical ploy to improve the ruling party’s image and others say it is a positive step forward – Egypt is increasing the number of women in parliament eightfold.

Egypt is for the first time guaranteeing that 64 of the 508 parliamentary seats up for grabs in Sunday’s election will be held by women.

In this male-dominated society, some see this positive discrimination as a positive step forward, while others believe it is a cynical ploy to bolster the ruling National Democratic Party’s (NDP) image while running a sham election.

Islamist Muslim Brotherhood member runs as independent

The women's quota was created by a law passed last year that, according to the government, was designed to increase female representation in the People's Assembly.

Women MPs currently number just eight, of whom only three were elected, with the other five appointed by the president.

Hannan el-Saidi is campaigning to be elected as an MP for the NDP, as she did in 2005.

“People will get used to the idea,” she said. “It's true it is a form of discrimination but it is a positive form of discrimination and is in the best interest of women.”

A member of the ruling NDP, she is standing only against other women candidates.

The Muslim Brotherhood is also trying to enter the breach. The Islamist movement, barely tolerated in Egypt, will put forward its own female candidates.

Date created : 2010-11-27


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