Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Opinion: The Achievement of Egyptian Women | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55346469

It seems that international politics is managed to some extent by impressions, regardless of the facts on the ground or trying to understand what is going on, and this is the impression that is generated by the position of many in the west about the Egyptian developments after the 30th of June and the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a position that is understood to some extent according to the culture of the western democracies that are worried by the intervention of armies in politics. The position was critical of what happened but it was not understood by Arab and regional parties who cannot claim that this is a part of the political culture of their democracy.

There were things that were confusing for the outside world to understand the Egyptian path after June the 30th, the most important of which was that it was clear that there was popular support for it which was shown by millions descending on the streets against the Brotherhood’s rule. After the intervention of the army came the transitional phase and a road map for the three stages amidst the wave of violence and terrorist acts whose biggest target was the economy. These acts succeeded in hitting tourism but did not stop the political process or the starting of new projects that give hope for the future. The political process was completed with the constitution, the election of the president after that and finally the forming of parliament on the 30th of June after a delay.

This parliament sparked controversy because the percentage of those who voted was not big – it was in the range of a quarter of registered voters according to published figures and this may be less than the vote for the constitution or presidential elections. However, in the end it is a large block of millions of voters who were burdened with multiple visits to poll stations in a short period of time.

In the end it is the first year of democracy and should be judged from that perspective – it will not be like the elections in established democracies and the traditions of these societies were acquired over time. It is therefore natural that we witness phenomena such as those that occurred in the first session.

However, the most important thing that must be mentioned about this parliament is the election of 90 female members which is an unprecedented number and accounts for more than 15% of members. This is a great achievement compared to previous elections when women were not able to enter parliament except by appointment only.