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Palestinian women demand quota increase

Palestinian feminist movements are discussing with PLO factions the possibility of increasing the female quota system, while women’s representation within Hamas remains timid.
Palestinian lawmakers attend a session of the Palestinian Legislative Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah February 20, 2007. Hamas said on Tuesday it still hoped Washington would soften its position towards a Palestinian unity government following talks U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.    REUTERS/Loay Abu Haykel (WEST BANK) - RTR1MLWX

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A video of a Jordanian parliament session went viral Dec. 3. The clip, shared widely as “Sit down, Hind!,” shows parliament member Yahya al-Saud cursing the quota system that brought female member Hind al-Fayez to parliament in 2013 after he repeatedly demanded that she sit down and listen to him. Though it may have angered some, the quota system is the only solution guaranteeing the presence of women in Arab parliaments.

A 2006 study of the media coverage of electoral campaigns by researcher Nibal Thawabteh stated that the percentage of women in Arab parliaments stood at 4.6%, compared to 12% in African parliaments and 16% in Europe and the Americas. The average female representation in world parliaments does not exceed 13%, the same percentage of women in the Palestinian parliament.

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