Conclusions and Recommendations "The Role of Women in Political Parties in the Arab World" - Oct.2008

 

October 2008

The Arab Liberal Federation in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty in cooperation with the Network of Arab Liberals and the Parti Social Liberal of Tunisia held a workshop under the title "The Role of Women in Political Parties in the Arab World" on the 18th and the 19th of October 2008 in Tunisia along with six Arab liberal political Parties and two NGO's represented by women in leadership and executive positions within these parties where they discussed the problems that hinder women's resourceful civil, political and democratic involvement; and these are the major problems that have been recorded:

• The sociological notions that organize a preconceived, stereotypical and negative perception of gender role which are heavily expressed and promoted in the media and educational systems in Arab countries.

• Weak civil and political awareness due to the current common widespread conceptions that lack democratic pluralism.

• The problematic gap between laws that grant women's rights and human dignity and their actual legal application.

• The absence of women empowerment due to the deficiency of strategies in political parties and civil society that would allow the enforcement of women's participation.

• Economical factors of unemployment and poverty.

• The difficulty of promoting political activities in Arab countries which obstruct their recognition.

• The growing fundamental currents that oppose women's rights and threaten the already existent social and political benefits by deeply imposing condescending views of women, while we find a significant retreat in cultural entities that demand more political, cultural and academic freedom.

• A Large number of women in Arab countries are unaware of their rights due to the current statues of Arab countries that strongly need the promotion of human rights.

Due to our recognition of these issues, we have proposed short and long term work plans between the members of the Network of Arab Liberals to promote the empowerment of women's participation in civil society for the development and progress of Arab countries which will be a demanding task that will require commitment from the members of the Network of Arab Liberals (NAL) and at the same time, a task that demands an appropriate political atmosphere and positive cooperation between political parties together and between parties and the state.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. Promoting the role of women in Arab liberal political parties through the following suggested work plans:

 

a. Motivating and activating the role of women in civil society and to join liberal political parties through political programs that would encourage women's participation in these parties.

b. Involving women in political leadership inside liberal political parties through the Quota system in governing entities as a transitional step to a fair and active presentation of women in political decisions.

c. Setting political strategies and programs to train women for leadership and enforce them to participate in party elections as well as parliamentary and local elections to reach decision making positions.

d. Statistical evaluation of women's participation in each political party and their positions in leadership of Arab liberal parties, and the percentage of women on the lists of parties in parliamentary and local elections while frequently observing indicators that record the amount of achievement of this goal.

 

2. Developing of the socio-cultural gender issue in Arab countries in respect of full commitment to the values of pluralism, equality and fighting gender discrimination and standing firm to fundamental calls opposing to women's rights through the following:

 

a. Political parties must secure programs that deal with reforming the educational system and against culturally segregating women in marginal roles in the media.

b. Organizing persistent workshops and seminars to spread awareness about the importance of women's role in the society equally to that of men.

 

3. Adopting the responsibility of reforming the legal and constitutional frameworks of gender issues:

 

a. Working on setting complete equality between men and women in Arab constitutions.

b. Filtering legislations from contradicting articles and laws that disable the application of gender equality.

c. Reforming Family Laws to grant equality and reach modern international standards.

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