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Women prominent in coming Iraqi elections

Unlike in past elections, many female candidates are running in the Iraqi parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of this month.
A woman with ink-stained fingers, holds a walking stick at a polling station in Baghdad's Sadr City March 7, 2010. Polling stations opened in Iraq on Sunday for a parliamentary election seen as crucial to the future of a country seeking stability after years of bloodshed. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani  (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE - RTR2CEG2
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The coming Iraqi parliamentary election cycle, scheduled for April 30, is marked by an intensive presence of female candidates on the different lists of Iraqi political blocs, with women representing 2,607 out of 9,032 total candidates.

Iraq’s Electoral Law requires the blocs participating in the elections to have at least one woman candidate for every three male candidates, which means at least 25% of all candidates should be women. The blocs usually have to search for women to fill this quota. However, the current electoral session stands out, due to the participation of several women academics, journalists and civil society activists. Most of them have a vision for change, unlike most participating male candidates who do not even have an electoral program.

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