Women rake ground-breaking 44% seats on Egyptian Democratic Party's top positions

Tuesday 06-10-2015 04:58 PM
Women rake ground-breaking 44% seats on Egyptian Democratic Party's top positions

By Rahma Diaa

CAIRO, Oct 5 (Aswat Masriya) - In an unprecedented outcome for Egyptian political parties, women raked 19 of 43 seats in the Egyptian Democratic Part's high committee elections on Friday, exceeding the 30 percent women's quota by 10 percentage points.

The results surpass the representation of women in the Free Egyptians Party's political bureau which was at the forefront at 33.3 percent, followed by Tagamou party, where women occupy 21.4 percent of the top positions and Al-Dostour Party at 11.11.

At the bottom of the list comes Al-Wafd with three percent and finally a single seat is occupied by a woman on Al-Nour Salafist party's high committee of 50 where elections were last held in January 2013.

Competencies win

Hana Abu al-Ghar, an elected member of the high committee of the Egyptian Democratic Party, attributed the 44 percent gain to the value women cadres add.

"We won because of our competencies, not because we are women," she told Aswat Masriya.

She added that the party's new strategy focuses on boosting women's participation because the party's program is targeting women in the coming phase in light of their integral political role during and since the January 25 uprising.

Aliaa Hassanein, member of the supreme committee highlighted the appointment of Walaa Ezz al-Din as head of the media secretariate, pointing out that they are the first party to have a woman as its spokesperson.

She added that the target is to raise the quota of women in leadership positions to 50 percent.

Principles, not slogans

Mohamed Arafat, member of the high committee, said that the party's principles don't discriminate between men and women. Their internal policy sets a quota of no less than 30 percent for women in each of the party's secretariates, which reflected positively on the high committee elections.

On a regional grid, rights activist Ahmed Abul-Magd, director of Our Rights Foundation, explains that "the highest participation rate of women in politics is in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia compared to   Egypt, where the rates are very low."

Abul-Magd applauded the election of 44 percent of women as "an acheivement"  because it creates opportunities for women to interact with the public and gain enough experience to qualify them to participate in parliamentary elections.

He noted that parties established after the January 25 uprising have been instrumental in empowering women, often putting to shame older parties who claim to be biased to women like al-Wafd and al-Tamagou.

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