Iraq Elections Included 4,000 Women Candidates

In Iraq’s provincial elections held Saturday, 4,000 women were candidates and, as a result of an electoral quota system, women are guaranteed to win at least one third of the open seats.

In a recent International Crisis Group report (see PDF) the quota system in place is described as requiring parties “to give every third seat to a female candidate on their list, although the share of seats that will ultimately be filled by women in each council will depend on the distribution of votes among parties.”

Candidate Nibras al-Mamuri told CNN that “although a woman’s role in the Arab world is mainly that of a mother and child bearer, I want to prove that women are just as capable as men when it comes to challenging arenas….I’ve entered a battlefield where women have to prove they are competent. I have to forget about fear.”


CNN 1/31/09; International Crisis Group Report 1/27/09

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