Why does the cancellation only refer to women's quota, whereas the principle of positive discrimination continues and is not canceled?
What are the guarantees that may preserve women's political participation just as much as they participated effectively in the revolution? This participation has been appreciated by leaders through preserving the positive discrimination in article 38 of the constitutional declaration, which affirmed that "the law will govern the right of candidacy for the People's Assembly and Shura Council according to the determined electoral system, including a minimum representation of women in both assemblies."
What are the pragmatic methods to ensure the equality referred to in article 7 in the constitutional declaration: "The Law applies equally to all citizens, and they are equal in rights and general duties. They may not be discriminated against due to race, origin, language, religion, or creed."
The basic guarantee for achieving this is applying and enforcing these texts and using them in real life. This matter shows that there is still a wide gap between what has been decided by the constitution and the laws and their application in real life.
Women's representation in the elected bodies since obtaining the right of political participation in 1956 differed. But it was generally a marginal representation since its rate fluctuated between 0.5%- 2.4% during 5 decades, beginning with their achieving of political rights and access to parliament pursuant to the constitution of 1956 till the assembly of 2005. This rate witnessed an exceptional change in the first half of the 1980s when it increased to 9% (in the assembly of 1979) due to the issuing of the law 12/1979, which stipulated allocating at least 30 seats for women. Although the issuing of the law 188/1986 cancelled this allocation, women's representation rate continues to be higher than the general range because they benefit from the proportional lists of parties.
With the canceling of the proportional lists of parties and the adoption of the individual electoral system, women have no chance anymore to access the parliament except by competing with men in unfavourable circumstances. This matter made many parties, politician and human and women rights leaders call again for the support of women's representation by the electoral system of lists with a minimum allocation for women's representation on the lists. The Tagammu party and other political powers suggested this minimum to be 30%.
But the former regime applied the system of allocating seats with the individual electoral system by allocating 64 seats for women in the 2010 elections, which now, as leaks say, will be canceled. Although many political powers and women's organizations affirmed their refusal to the way with which the quota system was applied, they also affirmed that canceling it without developing legal methods to ensure women's effective and equal participation may push women, despite their visible participation in the national fight of the revolution, back to the zero point, especially within the social and cultural problems from which the Egyptian society suffers and the appearance of hostile ideological trends towards women's participation after the revolution.
Thus, women's political participation needs:
Adopting an electoral system based on the proportional lists, whereas women's participation on the proportional lists should not be less than 30% so that women's participation, promotion of the party life, and strengthening of the parties in addition to the voters' participation in the political process on the basis of platform can be increased.
This matter needs:
i.Expanding the geographical and population range of the constituency. These constituencies should be represented within this electoral system by many members not just by one member.
Electing by the proportional list enables members to be interested not only in the local issues of their constituencies, but in the public issues as well. Therefore, this system is suitable for the idea that the member should be representative for the whole nation and not only for his constituency. This electoral system also helps members to achieve freedom and independence from acting within the responsibilities given to them by the voters in the individual electoral system.
Elections by the proportional lists also redouble the voters' rights to participate electing more than one member rather than just electing one member. Hence, the citizen feels his importance in the group, so that his concern with the public affairs and elections is redoubled. This system also reduces the excessive feeling of individuality and strengthens the feeling of belonging to parties. Thus, the feeling of belonging to the nation is increased by it, which is a goal that deserves the adoption of all methods in order to achieve it.
i. Inclusion of women candidates’ names in an order that ensures that there will be the name of a woman in the first 3 names of candidates; another woman in the second 3 names of candidates in addition to a third name of a woman in the third 4 names of candidates. This system is known by (3/3/4).
Adopting this system on the nomination level ensures the participation of 10% to 15% women in the elected assemblies.
It also contributes to the encouragement of women's participation in the party life, in the encouragement of parties to activate women's participation in the party not only on the level of women's committees, but also on the level of all committees of the party and its organizational levels. In addition, it contributes to training women and qualifies them to participate in the elections so that women could be one of the opportunities that could qualify parties to gain seats in the assembly.