CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) approved a new law that will increase women’s seats in parliament to a minimum of 64.
According to the new law, set forth by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), 32 new districts from different governorates will only accept applications from female candidates.
However, the new law stipulates that at least one of these candidates from the designated districts represent the workers and peasants sectors. The parliamentary electoral law necessitates that at least half of the PA’s members represent this sector.
The new law will be implemented starting with the 2010 parliamentary elections and is expected to be enforced for at least two parliamentary elections.
Magdy Rady, cabinet spokesperson, said that the new law is a practical implementation of President Hosni Mubarak’s presidential campaign as well as the 2007 constitutional amendments. Both have called for an increase in women presentation in PA, he said.
Mofid Shehab, minister of state for legal and parliamentarian affairs, said that the new law will help improve society’s views on women’s role in politics.
The law is a first step towards empowering women in parliament, Shehab said.
The new legislation, he added, will eventually allow women to independently nominate themselves and run against male candidates in elections and win more seats.
“The law will give more space to women to participate in Egypt’s different legislative authorities and get involved in Egypt’s different development programs, Shehab added.