In preparing for the elections of the upcoming House of Representatives, and focusing on the status and issues of Women, Nazra for Feminist Studies held a seminar on "the Status of Women in the Elections of the Upcoming House of Representatives", on Monday August 4th, 2014.
The seminar was attended by a number of representatives of various parties (the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Popular Current, Al-Dostour Party, Al-Karamah Party, the Egyptian Socialist Party, and the Bread and Freedom Party – under establishment); representatives of some electoral coalitions, such as "Al-Ummah Al-Masriyah" coalition and the Democratic Current coalition; members of the "Committee of the Fifty" on Constitutional Amendment; representatives of Women and feminist organizations and groups; and public figures.
The seminar addressed various topics in connection with the representation of Women and their issues in the upcoming House of Representatives, starting with having Women candidates on electoral lists and the problems associated with that, the representation of Women through the Individual Seat System, and the challenges facing electoral coalitions, especially that the Districting Law and elections date are yet to be announced. The discussion focused on the absence of Women from electoral coalitions and failure to place their issues on the political agenda.
The participants stressed the need to address the representation of Women and their issues in the upcoming House of Representatives in a way that would provide not only for their numerical representation on electoral lists or individual seats, but also for their effective participation within the electoral coalitions. Furthermore, they discussed the Women candidates who will be nominated on the lists, ways to assist Women running for individual seats , as well as supporting a legislative agenda that safeguards the constitutional entitlements granted to Women by the amended Egyptian Constitution through legislations that uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination.
At the end of the seminar, a decision was made to form a Committee to work on raising a legislative agenda for the issues of Women in the upcoming House of Representatives, as well as to put forth clear criteria for choosing the Women to be represented in these coalitions, to hold meetings with representatives of the various coalitions, and to provide for names of Women candidates for both lists and individual seats. These agreements and criteria are to be issues in a number of documents in this period of time, until the Districting Law is issued and the announcement of the date of applying for candidacy in the Elections of the House of Representatives.