Gender Quotas Database

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Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)

Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas at the sub-national level. 89 of 596 (15%) seats in the Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Unicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? No
  • For the Sub-National Level? Yes

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Apr 16, 2019

Single/Lower House

Majlis Al-Chaab / People's Assembly

Total seats 596
Total Women 89
% Women 15%
Election Year 2015
Electoral System TRS PBV
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

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.


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

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/HOME/HOME_150.aspx

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