Nazra's Statement on the Continuity of Applying the Quota System in the Upcoming Elections

Egyptian Parliament - Photo By: Mohamed Zeineldine

Press Release

10 Apr 2011

Nazra's statement on the continuity of applying the Quota system in the upcoming elections:
Nazra for Feminist Studies followed with great interest the referendum of the constitutional amendments and the issuing of the temporary constitutional declaration by the supreme military council; taking into consideration that Nazra for feminist studies had its comments on the issue of continuing to assign seats for women system, known as Quota system in the elections of the people assembly and the consultative council (Shura) , which was stipulated in article 38 of the constitutional declaration , issued on 30 March 2011; bearing in mind that this  article is one of the stopped constitution of 1971.

Applying the quota system in its current situation, and in accordance with the laws applied until this moment, is considered to be an act of injustice to women;  since, their constituencies are divided for their assigned seats, according to the law number #68 for year 2010, of specifying the constituencies of People Assembly .  According to this law the constituency of the quota seat is the whole governorate, with exception of governorates.  Ultimately it is an act of incapacitating any candidate to run for elections in such huge constituencies.

Adding to this, mainstreaming gender in the political process is not only numerical representation of women in the elected bodies which does not take in consideration the economic, social and cultural conditions of women participation in the political realm; but it is also not inclusive that the participation of women is not included in administrating the electoral process, in the Supreme committee of elections according to the law of exercising the political rights. This should happen to ensure including women in the production of the electoral process and to have points of view that take in consideration the conditions women facing the elections.

It is noteworthy to say the applying of quota system in the individualistic system, in the shadows of the current situation in Egypt that will lead to hesitance of women to participate. It will be better to adopt the list system, and drafting clear rules of their place in the list.

Finally, stipulating the quota system in the constitutional declaration is not the end of the road , and it is not empowerment of women, thus the laws which govern the quota system should be changed especially that it was drafted under the constitution of 1971. Furthermore, the urgency of changing the electoral system to make it more just to women should be noted, to enable them to participate in the political life, as they participated in the Jan 25 revolution.

Women participated in January 25 revolution and it is their right to have real participation for all women from different social and economic backgrounds, which is a goal unachieved by the quota system adopted in the temporary constitutional declaration.