Proposed bill sets highest quota for women in Egypt's Parl't history



Wed, 06 Feb 2019 - 12:42 GMT


Wed, 06 Feb 2019 - 12:42 GMT

Egyptian MP Margaret Azar - press photo

Egyptian MP Margaret Azar - press photo

CAIRO - 6 February 2019: The proposed amendments to the constitution have granted women a fixed quota. If the amendments are approved, women will hold 25 percent of the total parliamentary seats by the power of law.

The proposed bill stipulates that the number of total members of the Parliament must not be less than 450.

Since the establishment of the Egyptian House, the number of women parliamentarians has never reached such percentage.

One year after Egyptian women were granted the right to vote in 1956, Rawia Atiya and Amina Shoukri became the first two women parliamentarians in Egypt's history. The women's quota has then increased over years to reach about 15 percent in the current 2015 parliament.

Also, in 1962, late President Gamal Abdel Nasser appointed Hikmat Abu Zeid as minister for social affairs, to be the first minister in the country's modern history. The Social Solidarity Ministry is currently chaired by Ghada Wali, who has remained in her post for three consecutive cabinets.

The Parliament's general committee approved on Tuesday the proposal put forward by one fifth of the members. Two thirds of parliamentarians voted in favor of the proposal to be further discussed.

The amendments include supporting the representation of women, farmers and blue-collar labor, youths, Christians, expats, and the disabled in parliamentary chambers.

In general, the Egyptian law stipulates that women have to hold 25 percent of the local councils’ seats. Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said in January 2018 that local councils’ female members will hold more than 25 percent of the seats.

For the first time in Egypt, eight women have got ministerial portfolios, including ministers of investment, environment, tourism, health, planning, immigration and culture.

In December, Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram said that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will attach special importance to women's role in Africa after assuming the African Union (AU) presidency in 2019.

Moreover, Hala Zayed, who has served as health minister since June 2018, said that for five years the ministry has adopted many programs and policies to improve women's health, asserting that women represent 50 percent of the employees in the headquarters of the Ministry of Health.

Zayed said that 30 percent of the vital ministries in Egypt are headed by women, as many women in the country have the expertise that qualify them for leadership positions, in light of the political leadership's keenness to support and empower women in all fields.

She added that Egyptian women nowadays are breadwinners for about 35 percent of the Egyptian families.

Niven al-Misiri, CEO and managing director of Ahli United Bank-Egypt, said that Egypt is working to implement the United Nations guidelines to achieve justice for women in all its institutions.

Parliament's general committee approves constitution's draft amendments

CAIRO - 5 February 2019: Egyptian Parliament's General Committee approved on Tuesday the proposal put forward by one fifth of the members. Two thirds of parliamentarians voted in favor of the proposal to be further discussed.



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