Gender Quotas Database

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Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)

Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and upper house and at the sub-national level. 164 of 592 (28%) seats in the Majlis Al-Nuwab / House of Representatives are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Upper House? Yes
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Sep 22, 2021

Single/Lower House

Majlis Al-Nuwab / House of Representatives

Total seats 592
Total Women 164
% Women 28%
Election Year 2020
Electoral System TRS PBV
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution

The Egyptian House of Represantatives adopted the Law 140 for the year 2020, modifying the law on the political rights of 2014 and the law on the House of Representatives of 2014. The new law modifies article 1 of the law on the house of representatives and stipulates: "The House of Representatives is composed of 568 members, elected directly by free secret ballot, and at least 25% of the seats should be reserved to women. The President of the Republic can appoint a number of members, not exceeding 5%, according to the provisions of the law".

 
Electoral law

 

 
Legal sanctions for non-compliance N/A  
Rank order/placement rules N/A  
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? Not applicable  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No  
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database

Upper House

Magles el-shiyoukh / Senate

Total seats 300
Total Women 40
% Women 13%
Election Year 2020
Electoral System
Quota Type Reserved seats>
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution

Article 1 of the law 141 stipulates: “The Senate is composed of 300 members, two thirds of them are directly elected by free secret ballot, and the President of the Republic appoints the remaining third, on the condition that at least 10% of the total number of seats should be reserved to women.”

 
Electoral law  
Legal sanctions for non-compliance No data available
Rank order/placement rules No data available

Quota at the Sub-National Level

  • Quota type: Reserved seats
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution Article 180 of the new Constitution reserves one quarter of the seats for women in the elected local councils. 
Electoral law  
Legal sanctions for non-compliance
Rank order/placement rules No data available

Additional Information

 

Article 11 of the newly adopted Constitution of Egypt (adopted through a referendum in January 2014) provides that ”The State shall ensure the achievement of equality between women and men in all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. The State shall take the necessary measures to ensure the appropriate representation of women in the houses of representatives, as specified by Law. The State shall also guarantee women’s right of holding public and senior management offices in the State and their appointment in judicial bodies and authorities without discrimination”. In spite of demands by many women’s organizations to assign a "quota" for women in parliament, the 50-Member Committee refused to approve a quota for any societal group or religious sect in parliament. However, in a positive development, Article 180 of the new Constitution assigns a quota of "one quarter of the seats" for women in the elected local councils. This is considered a positive step on the road to achieving women’s representation.

2011- 2012 Elections Background

In the Nov 2011-Jan 2012 elections to the new Egyptian parliament, only 8 women (1.8 %) were elected. The supreme council of the military forces (SCAF) appointed additional 10 MPs, whereof 2 are women, bringing women's overall share to 2.2 %.

 

The reserved seat system from the 2010 election was abandoned. Instead, in the new parallel electoral system, parties were obliged to nominate at least one woman as part of their district candidate lists which they have to submit for the 46 districts electing 332 seats contested through a PR system.

Reserved seats in the 2010-elections

The Law 38 of 1972 concerning the Egyptian People's Assembly (Lower House) was amended in June 2009 to provide 64 seats to which the nominations was restricted to women only. The total number of parliamentary seats was enhanced accordingly. From 28 governorates two women was elected, one of whom represented labourers and farmers, in accordance with the at the time present 50 percent quota provision for these groups. In Cairo and Alexandria, due to the higher population, in total 8 more seats was added. The law only applied to the Lower House.

In 2007, Article 62 of the Egypt Constitution was amended: "The law ... may also stipulate a minimum representation of women in the afore-mentioned councils [People's Assembly, the Shura Council and local councils]".

In 1979, Egypt adopted a guaranteed representation formula reserving 30 seats (out of 360 seats) for women in parliament. In late 1986, however, this quota for women was cancelled in a general revision of the electoral laws.

On 17 October 2020, by virtue of the decree 590 of the year 2020, the President of the Republic appointed 100 members of the Senate, 20 of them were women. This raised the number of women in the Senate to 40 out of 300. The elections preceded the decree, and were on two rounds: the first from 9 to 12 August 2020 and the second from 6 to 9 September 2020.

 

Sources

Legal Sources: 

Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt 2014 Unofficial English translation

Law No. 38 of on the Egyptian People's Assembly (as Amended to 2009) Article 1(1,3), 2, 3
 
Other Sources: 

Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU Parline Egypt

Egyptian Official Gazette, Issue 26 Bis (K), Published on 1 July 2020. (The law 140 is on pages 3 to 11).

 

Additional reading

  • Abou-Zeid, G. ‘Introducing Quotes in Africa: Discourse in Egypt’, paper presented at The Implementation of Quotas: African Experiences, Pretoria, November 2003.
  • Abou-Zeid, G. 2002. ‘In Search of Political Power-Women in Parliament in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon’, in A. Karam (ed.) Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers, Stockholm: International IDEA.
  • Tamale, S. 1999. When Hens Begin to Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda. Colorado: Westview Press.
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union. 1997. Democracy Still in the Making: A World Comparative Study. Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union.
  • Howard-Merriam, K. 1990. ‘Guaranteed Seats for Political Representation of Women: The Egyptian Example’, in Women and Politics. Vol. 10, 1. pp.17-42.
  • Egypt Parliament website, http://www.parliament.gov.eg/

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