Egypt has recently passed a new quota law, reserving 64 seats for women in addition to its 454 member parliament.
While the executive regulations were not issued at the time of writing, the political messages conveyed about the quota are highly relevant: for example, additional seats were allocated rather than existing ones shared. This article speculates on whether the quota will challenge power hierarchies within and among parties. While the quota will undoubtedly increase women’s representation in parliament, the political configurations of the existing context – a highly authoritarian one – raise questions as to which women are most likely to occupy these seats.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 41.5 (2010) Quotas: A Highway to Power in Egypt … But for Which Women?