Women’s Participation in Post-Revolutionary Elections

Dec 1, 2012

“International experience shows that in many countries in the world, including the Arab region, women are unlikely to participate in political processes and decision-making bodies in a meaningful manner. This must change. The active participation in political processes of women alongside men and all major segments of society, is indispensable for a strong democracy” said UN Development Programme (UNDP) Chief Technical Advisor Carlos Valenzuela, at the sub-regional conference “Women’s Participation in Post-Revolutionary Parliamentary Elections - Comparative Experiences for Egypt, Libya and Tunisia”.

Policy makers, legislators and national opinion leaders from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia met in Cairo, to discuss best strategies for advocating or women’s equal voice and participation in post-revolutionary elections. The event was organized in December 2012 by UNDP’s Regional Centre in Cairo, its Elections Support Projects in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Egypt.

The forum assessed how women fared in the post-revolutionary parliamentary elections in the three countries, emphasizing their participation as candidates, voters, and members of the electoral administration as well as their effective representation in the parliament. The forum also provided participants with a comparative overview of these critical topics in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in light of selected comparative case studies from Yemen, Nepal, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The forum brought together representatives of governmental institutions, members of the committees for the drafting to the legislations, elected and non- elected candidates, academics and journalists, gender specialists and civil society representatives from the three countries.

UN Women Regional Director Dr. Sameera Al Tuwaijri said that the marginalization of women in political participation and decision making processes has been responsible for the exclusion of the interests of women in governance and development. “Hopefully, the efforts of today will not only create a space for experienced female politicians but also provide the opportunity to mentor younger women interested in vying for political positions in the future,” she added.

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