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RHEA Research Seminar: Substantive Women Representation and Arab States: Democratization as a Requisite for Gender Political Equality by Ari Baghdassar Tatian

Monday, 27 November, 2017 - 13:30
Campus: Brussels Engineering, Sciences & Humanities Campus
Pleinlaan 5
Van Gogh Room
RHEA
rhea@vub.be
Lunch Seminar

Substantive Women Representation and Arab States:

Democratization as a Requisite for Gender Political Equality

by Ari Baghdassar Tatian, PhD Candidate, VUB

Gender political representation interacts with variety of variables that affect its status and course. And to foster it, scholars propose the adoption of gender quotas. Such strategy could deliver results, if it is incorporated in an overall process of democratization, which could be applied to Arab (developing) countries, where women’s political rights are prone to challenging variables, hampering the maintenance of substantive women representation, where despite efforts to attain it, achievements have been quite modest so far.  Arab countries resorted to gender quotas to advance gender political rights, which are utilized as a strategy for political reform, and a provisional measure for women’s political participation and representation, despite debate on their efficacy.  The adopted strategy did not yield the aspired results, as gender issues exist in a contending political environment, in a time when they should have been an integral part of democratization process. Having serious democratic deficit, Arab states fail to embody gender values in their policies, where harnessing religious practices and societal norms is a complicated challenge that gender equality efforts would experience.