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An Egyptian opposition activist said that the National Salvation Front is trying to give female activists more chances to lead electoral lists in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Mona Ezzat, the spokesperson of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, told Egypt Independent that its party is working with other members of the NSF to support female activists and give them the same number of slots as male candidates on the lists.
Ezzat said they are holding a meeting next week to coordinate with Women Committees in other parties in NSF, including Egyptian Democratic, Constitution and Karama to discuss the names of female candidates and their representation in electoral lists.
“This is still the preparatory period,” said Ezzat, who went on to say that secular parties are making lists of the female members they wish to nominate and the area in which they can run for elections for next week’s discussion.
When asked about the criteria of choosing a female candidate, Ezat said that the nominee should have a history of partisan or public work. Young female candidates, however, would also be given the opportunity, as long as they are able to express themselves politically or have been involved in civil society work, said Ezat.
Ezzat refused to give any names of female candidates who would run in the elections, saying that it's early to announce the names.
She added that she believes the NSF is able to provide strong female candidates in all Egyptian governorates.
Egyptian women got the right to vote in 1956. Two women were elected in the Parliament of 1957 but generally women's representation in the Parliament was weak.
The last elected Parliament, which was dissolved by a court ruling, has 12 female lawmakers out of 508.