Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Women Seek More Political Input in Egypt

Many women activists are upset with the outcome of last month’s parliamentary elections. At the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) conference held on January 25, women insisted that the government must include more women representatives. Out of 444 parliamentary seats, only 11 are held by women. Heba Raouf, a professor at Cairo University, says women need to spend more time recruiting women to run for parliament. She said talking about the women’s lack of rights to a male-dominated government will not do much to advance gender equality. However, even running for parliament seats places a threat upon women, whether they lose or win. With these concerns in mind, it is difficult to get many women to run for political office.

At the conference, the ECWR pushed for 30 percent of parliamentary seats to be held by women. Unfortunately, all of the major parties have not implemented their plans of adding more women.

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