Fast Tracking Women into Parliamentary Seats in the Arab World
17 Southwestern Journal of International Law 64 (2011)
48 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2014 Last revised: 10 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2011
Women are acutely underrepresented in the parliaments of Arab states. The author advocates gender quotas throughout the Arab region as a means to mandate women's participation in previously male-monopolized halls of power. Quotas will help to fast track the paradigm shift needed to mobilize the suppressed political capital held by Arab women, and stimulate policy reforms that advance gender equity by having women a higher representation of women parliamentarians. The article aims to identify and illustrate the principal obstacles hindering the participation of women in Arab national parliaments. Because these obstacles work cumulatively to segregate Arab women from parliamentary seats, the author recommends that Arab states implement fast track quota measures to ameliorate the impact of past and present-day discrimination against women, and to challenge the prevailing patriarchal institutions that perpetuate the political segregation of women in the Arab world. The policy proposal set out in the final sections of the article urges the adoption of urgent discourse as well as ambitious large-scale affirmative action programs. This provocative approach fits within the urgent tactical and dialectical strategy needed to challenge Arab patriarchal structures, and create political inroads for the region's women.
Keywords: Arab Parliament, gender bias, discrimination, politics, gender equality
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation