While the presence of women in Egyptian institutions has varied greatly over time, women and girls in Egypt are represented in relatively low numbers compared to women in other MENA and OECD countries. Over the last two decades, the level of representation has remained either below 3% (elections in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2012) or at 13% and 15% (2010 and 2015). The determining factor in the different figures has been the implementation, or abolition, of an electoral quota for women.
In 2017 the Association Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development (ACT) carried out the field diagnosis entitled "Women’s Political Participation in Egypt: Perspectives from Giza", as the leader of a local cluster of gender equality actors © in Egypt set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation (FFEM) with the support of the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). This article is based on such field diagnosis: it synthesises the results of the analysis with regard to the main challenges concerning the political participation of Egyptian women, and proposes a path for critical reflection on the quota system in Egypt, in order to provide an instrument for understanding the gender dimension within the electoral process in Egypt in 2020.
An Egyptian woman, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, casts her vote at a polling station on Aug. 11, 2020, for the new Senate. Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.