Egypt, Libya and Tunisia discuss women’s participation in post-revolutionary elections

10 Dec 2012

Cairo Policy makers, legislators and national opinion leaders from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia concluded consultations in a two-day, subregional forum on best strategies for advocating for women’s equal voice and participation in post-revolutionary elections. The event, held under the title “Women’s participation in post-revolutionary parliamentary elections - Comparative Experiences for Egypt, Libya and Tunisia” took place in Cairo, 9-10 December and was organized by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Centre in Cairo, its Elections Support Projects in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Egypt.

The forum brought together representatives of governmental institutions, members of the committees for the drafting to the legislations, elected and non- elected candidates, academics and journalists, gender specialists and civil society representatives from the three countries.

The forum assessed how women fared in the post-revolutionary parliamentary elections in the three countries, emphasising their participation as candidates, voters, and members of the electoral administration as well as their effective representation in the parliament. The forum also provided participants with comparative overview of these critical topics in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia in light of selected case studies from Yemen, Nepal, the United Kingdom and South Africa. 

 “International experience shows that in many countries in the world, including the Arab region, women are unlikely to participate in political processes and decision-making bodies in a meaningful manner," said Carlos Valenzuela, UNDP Chief Technical Advisor. “This must change. The active participation in political processes of women alongside men and all major segments of society, is indispensable for a strong democracy”

Maya Morsy, the Country Coordinator for UN Women in Egypt said that the marginalization of women in political participation and decision making processes has been responsible for the exclusion of the interests of women in governance and development paradigms.  “Now is the time to work and we cannot afford to wait on women’s participation in post-revolutionary elections. Women have earned the right to be included with their history of contributions to the struggle for democracy,” She added. “Hopefully, the efforts of today will not only create a space for experienced female politicians but also provide the opportunity to mentor younger women interested in vying for political positions in the future”.

Contact Information

Noeman Al Sayyad, Regional Communication Advisor, +201001811876, noeman.alsayyad@undp.org