Conference discusses engaging more women in politics

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Minister of Culure Haifa Al-Najjar addresses the “Women’s Empowerment in Politics” conference. (Photo: Twitter)

AMMAN — Women’s empowerment is likely to be boosted with changes to be introduced soon to some laws, a Cabinet official said, while a political activist insisted that women’s participation in the decision making will come only through organized political parties.اضافة اعلان

“The modernization of the political system, including amendments to the election and political parties’ laws will enhance the representation of women in political parties,” said Cabinet official, Culture Minister Haifa Al-Najjar.

“Jordan was built on the foundations of pluralism, partnership, respect for others, and the acceptance of different opinions,” Najjar added.

The political activist, Abla Abu Elbeh, a secretary-general for Hashd Party, said that women’s “participation in political life will neither be serious, nor continuous without an organized political party.”

She explained that political parties have a longstanding history in Jordan, having existed in the Kingdom since its inception. She said the first political grouping, called the Jordanian People’s Party, was founded in 1927.

“Now, we are witnessing huge historic transformations that organized parties have an important role in,” she added.

Both Najjar and Abu Elbeh spoke at a regional conference, which tackled “Women’s engagement in political parties in the Arab region”.

The two-day meeting, which opened Friday, was organized by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women’s Empowerment, in collaboration with the UN Women, the UN Development Program , and the Coalition of Women Parliamentarians from Arab Countries. The goal is to combat violence against women.

The gathering discussed the role of legislation and governments in creating a suitable environment for women’s active engagement in partisan life, the role of political parties and movements, and measures to eliminate violence against women in politics.

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai said that the Middle East and North Africa is the only region where women hold less than 20 percent of seats in parliaments.

Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women Empowerment Wafa Bani Mustafa reviewed the gender gap report issued by the World Economic Forum in 2022.

The report considered the political empowerment index the second largest indicator that needs action, after the economic participation and opportunities index. It said the MENA region recorded 15.1 percent on the political empowerment index. In contrast, the proportion in the world reached 22 percent.

Participants also discussed the role of political parties and Arab movements in supporting women in political institutions. They called for higher women representation in political parties, and reviewed the social obstacles and traditions that limit women’s involvement in political life.

Saturday discussions focused on overcoming the challenges facing women’s engagement in partisan life, international best practices, and ways of addressing and mitigating violence against women in politics.

 Experts and politicians from Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Libya, Palestine, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, Norway, and the UK attended.

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