Jordan’s King Abdullah has ratified an amended law that creates six new parliamentary seats for women, the Jordan Times reports. Women candidates will be put on a separate electoral list and those who receive the most votes will take their place alongside the male lawmakers. Jordan’s Minister for Political Affairs, Muhammad al-Edwan, told Arabic News that he hopes the move will be an “impetus for the women sector to be able to play their active political role side by side with men in building up the country.” But the country’s first female legislator, Toujan Faisal, told the Associated Press that she opposed the law on principle because “it does not bestow any recognition or support of women. The law consecrated the image of women as inferior [by implying] that women cannot win an election without the help of men.”
Since the Parliament was reinstated in 1989, only two women have served in the 40-seat Senate. Though every Jordanian government has recruited women and many women head public establishments, the last Parliament had one female member, and at present there are only two female members, according to Arabic News. The elections, originally scheduled for September of last year, are expected to take place in the spring. The amendment expands the number of seats in Parliament to 110, Jordan Times reports.