IEC disappointed that only 18% of those running are women

Women discouraged from entering politics — experts

1. IEC Musa
The IEC said it had hoped that the women quota would be higher than 25 percent in 2022. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
the AMMAN — According to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), 4,213 candidates registered to run for municipal and governorate councils elections; of these 17.96 percent were women, but none had registered to run for mayoral positions.اضافة اعلان

This electoral year, 2.4 million voters were women, and 2.2 million were men. 

IEC spokesperson Mohammad Al-Rawashdeh said “We noticed that no woman is running for mayor in any of the Kingdom’s municipalities. We hope that analysts will study the reason and try to find an explanation. Are there barriers for entry this electoral year? The participation rate in this year’s election comes to us as odd.”

The IEC said it had hoped that the women quota would be higher than 25 percent in 2022.

According to Jordanian human’s rights expert Buthaina Freihat, “women are expected to take care of children, raise them, care for the family home, run errands. This weakens women’s willingness to get involved in politics. These are tasks that both spouses ought to be involved in.”

“In our society, a lot more is required of women than of men,” Freihat said, adding that she hoped There would not be a need for quota for women in future elections.

“It is not enough to tell women that they have the right to run for local elections, we need to encourage women’s participation in politics. There is a dire need to introduce programs that involve women specifically, that will motivate and inspire them to run for elections; they will, in turn, inspire the women around them,” Freihat said.

Emy Dawud, founder of the community organization Feminist Movement Jo, said that many women are discouraged from entering the field of politics in Jordan.

“Jordanian women are taught from a young age that their opinions are not as important as men’s opinions. Also, women face many issues at the workplace that men do not, such as harassment and sexism, that end up deterring women from entering the workplace,” Dawud said in an interview with Jordan News.

She added that there are no equal opportunities for men and women, especially when it comes to politics.

“Tribes will almost always stand behind a male candidate and will discourage women from running for a political position. Had there not been a quota for women, I doubt they would have won an election of any sort,” she said, adding that this culture must change.

In line with the quota system, out of 28 individuals, six women will gain seats in this year local elections. While the number of candidates is lower than it was in 2017, COVID-19 circumstances and changes to the voting locations makes it difficult to come up with a fair comparison.

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