Egyptian Women Play Remarkable Role in Elections

Sunday, 21 April, 2019 - 09:00
Cairo - Issam Fadhl

Women voting in the referendum on constitutional amendments in Egypt stressed their willingness to be part of the development in their country.

“I voted for the continuation of the construction, development and anti-terror process in Egypt,” said Nabila Hassan, a woman in her 60s, in front of a polling station in Ghamra, central Cairo.

“Although I'm feeling ill, I decided to go to the polling station early Saturday,” she added.

This remarkable scene was repeated in polling stations throughout the country.

Egyptian women led the event by arriving from early hours to vote. Observers linked the “heavy female turnout in all poll stations to the gains achieved by women and their growing awareness of the importance of participation.”

First Lady Entissar el Sisi cast her ballot in El-Shaheed Yousry Emara School in Heliopolis while Jehan Sadat, widow of former president Anwar Sadat, voted in the Ministry of Agriculture’s commission in Dokki district in Giza governorate.

Dr. Noha Bakr, a political studies professor in the American University in Cairo, told Asharq Al-Awsat that women’s heavy turnout in elections is mainly due to their nature, awareness of their social and family responsibilities and their interest in the future of their children and families.

“The remarkable participation of women on January 25, 2011, and June 30, 2013 revolutions highlight women’s awareness of the importance of positive participation,” she explained.

“The political gains achieved by women in recent years have also created a strong incentive.”

The Egyptian woman has made many political achievements since the January 25th revolution. Women MPs in the House of Representatives have amounted to about 90, and there are eight female ministers in the current government.

The amendments proposed to create a quota setting women’s representation in parliament at a minimum of 25 percent.

According to the amended Article (102, Paragraph 1), women will be given one-fourth of the number of Parliament seats.

“The House of Representatives shall consist of at least 450 members, elected through direct and secret ballots. At least quarter the number of the parliamentary seats shall be given to women,” read the article, which was approved by Egypt’s House of Representatives during a public discussion and voting session.

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