In November 2019, Jackeline Aazar, Ghada Yehiya, Inas samir, Lubna Abdul Aziz, Hind Mohamad Ahmad, Duna El Dusuqi and Jihan Abdul Mu’em, were appointed as deputy mayors for the Governorates of Alexandria, Awsan, South Sinai, Sharqia, Giza, Matrouh and Cairo’s southern district respectively.
Many women’s rights organizations including the Egyptian centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR) and the National Council for Women (NCW) considered this a good sign for increasing women’s participation in governance and the political sphere. The ECWR has, though, wished for an increase in the number of women mayors, as to date, only one woman occupies the position of mayor in Egypt, and this woman is Manal Aawadh, mayor of Damietta Governorate. This, according to the ECWR, does not represent women nor reflect their contribution to the economy which is estimated at about 30% in formal economy and 70% in non-official economy.
According to the ECWR, women’s underrepresentation in politics is also due to government policies which turn a blind eye to female experts and women’s potential, and ignore international development reports that confirm that women’s participation in decision-making reduces corruption and contributes to optimal investment of resources.
In this regard, the ECWR stressed the need for the implementation of women’s quota by at least 35% in all government, leadership and ministerial positions to activate the participation of Egyptian women, and force decision-makers to search for women’s competencies and provide opportunities for them.
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.