Representation of Christian women in parliament falls short

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Some political activists are clamoring for a parliamentary seat designated to a Christian womanاضافة اعلان

Women’s overall representation in the House of Representatives is comparatively low: 15 out of the 130 available seats. The same applies to minorities: there are nine seats for Christians and three seats for Circassians/Chechens.

Women’s rights activist Nuha Muhreiz told Jordan News: “The issue of restrictive quotas is temporary; it will become a thing of the past once the stigma surrounding the role women play as effective decision makers and leaders ends. When we specifically talk about Christian women, the truth is that I consider the discrimination they face (in politics) to be much more serious.”

“One of the hardest obstacles Christian women will face is to win against a man for the Christian seat. There is an inherently negative view toward women’s position in government. If we want to improve and reach greater gender and social equality, then there should be a seat for Christian women in the female quota that is separate,” Muhreiz added.

Political activist Rania Haddadin told Jordan News that there is another element to the issues faced when it comes to Christian representation: “There is a flaw in the geographical planning for voters. Bigger cities such as Amman, Irbid and Zarqa need more than one seat as they are more populated. This applies to the women’s quota as well. There needs to be an increase in the women quota to be fully represented in parliament.” Achieving that, she said, would “be progress”.

Secretary General for the Jordanian National Commission for Women Salma Nims said gaining seats in Parliament is a difficulty that not only Christian women face, but women in general.

“Personally, I do not think that Christian women are at a disadvantage. I do not necessarily think that a Christian woman has lower chances in the Christian quota; if she is an activist who has an impact on her community and is well known, she might win. I have an issue with the problems all women face, this is how we should see it.”

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