Tuesday, March 8, 2016

IWD2016 : Egyptian Women in the parliament through time

On the occasion of celebrating the International Women's Day, I would like to share with you something I should have posted from several times ago but it seems that I forgot.
If you remember, I did a series of infographics about the parliamentary elections results in Egypt. I forgot to add an infographic I was working to those infographics simply because I wanted to double check the numbers.
That infographic is about the history of women MPs in Egyptian parliament through history. I took the numbers from a similar infographic made by Reuters' Aswat Masriya in Arabic and added to it the 2015 parliament.
Here is the infographic after the break with a very nice background about Egypt's first women parliamentarians

Here is a complete list of names with the Women MPs in the House of Representatives from Tahrir News website.
Historically, the first Egyptian woman MP to be elected in Egypt was Rawya Attiya in 1957.
Attiya was raised in a political house, her father was a leading Al-Wafd Party member in Giza governorate during the Royal era.
Young Rawya Attiya 
Unlike most of the girls during then, Rawya Attiya completed her education and got a bachelor degree in education from Cairo University in 1946. She also took a diploma in psychology and a Master degree in journalism. After working in education as a teacher for 15 years, she joined the Egyptian armed forces during the 1956 war in its medical sector.
Many websites say that she was the first Egyptian woman officer but I highly doubted because there was another woman who joined the army before her historically but I do not recall her name unfortunately.
MP Rawya Attiya
In 1956, as the Egyptian Constitution granted the Egyptian women the right to vote and to run for the Parliament. Rawya Attiya ran for elections in Dokki Constituency "My constituency" in 1957 for "The National assembly" aka the Parliament and amazingly she got 110,807 votes.
The right of women to vote and to run of the parliament came after a long struggle of Egyptian women led by feminists like Doria Shafik.
Another woman ran and won in that 1957. That lady was MP Amina Shukry but her results were announced after Attiya and so Rawya Attiya became the first Egyptian and Arab Parliamentarian. Shukry won in the runoffs in Alexandria.
MP Amina Shukry
Back to 2016, I believe that despite we have an unprecedented historical number of Women MPs  in the House of Representatives.
19 Women MPs were elected in the individual seats system and 56 women MPs were elected in the List-based system.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi appointed 14 women MPs as well.
Still, it is not a true indication of women's political progress or true diversity in politics in Egypt.
Let's agree that so far the Egyptian House of Representatives has proven to be a failure and just another piece of decoration to complete the so-called the political roadmap.
Already if we go back to the numbers we have got, we will find that women have always had a higher number of seats in the List-based electoral systems in Egypt. The real victory for women in Egypt is when women MPs are being elected in the individual seats system fairly without any gender or religious concerns.
It is not also about the number of seats as much as about the true representation of people.
I am not a sexist radical, I just need true MPs who understand their duties and represent the true interest of their candidates regardless of their gender. 

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