Opportunities and challenges facing women’s electoral success in North Africa
WFD, in partnership with the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab countries recently held a roundtable on the opportunities and challenges facing women’s electoral success in North Africa.
The results of parliamentary elections that took place in 2020 and 2021 in a number of Arab countries have shown a trend of declining female representation in national parliaments. Even in countries with legislated gender quotas like Jordan and Algeria, the number of elected female representatives has decreased. In Qatar and Kuwait women did not win a single parliamentary seat. Paradoxically, other parts of the region tell a different story; in countries like Iraq, Morocco and Egypt, the number of women in parliaments increased.
The event involved an esteemed panel of speakers, including current and former female MPs from across the Arab region, and addressed key questions such as:
- Why do we see such variation in the representation of women in elected office across the region?
- What can be learned from the countries who have improved rates of female political participation through elections?
- What barriers remain in place, limiting the election of women to formal political institutions in the Arab region?
The Coalition of Women MPs from Arab countries unites women MPs from thirteen countries across the Arab region in combatting violence against women, at the national and regional level. The Coalition was established in 2014 and is a permanent observer of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union. The aim of this roundtable was to amplify female voices from the region on the topic of women’s political leadership.