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SIGI urges women planning to run for elections to form their own lists

By Rana Husseini - Sep 21,2020 - Last updated at Sep 21,2020

AMMAN — A local organisation on Sunday called on women wishing to run for the upcoming parliamentary elections to form their own lists and not to wait to be included in other candidates' lists.

Solidarity Is Global Institute (SIGI) stated that Article 9 in the 2016 Elections Law stipulated that voting is based on the open proportional list at the district level.

The law stipulates that each list should include no fewer than three candidates and no more than the number of seats allocated for the constituency in which the list is competing.

"We have noticed that several male candidates were reluctant to include females in their lists out of fear that the women in their list will end up collecting more votes than them," SIGI Executive Director Asma Khader said.

As a result, several candidates are "preparing their elections in complete secrecy, which prevents women wishing to run for the elections from being included in these lists," Khader told The Jordan Times.

"This process of secrecy basically deprives qualified women from running for elections because they are forced to be part of a list rather than run independently," Khader noted.

She said that her organisation, SIGI, is urging all women wishing to run for the parliamentary elections "to take the necessary practical steps to form their own lists to maintain their rights that are stipulated by the law".  

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) had announced that elections for the 19th Parliament will be held on November 10, following a Royal decree in July directing the concerned authorities to hold parliamentary elections in accordance with the provisions of law. The Kingdom is divided into 23 constituencies. 

Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Musa Maaytah had told The Jordan Times recently that efforts are being exerted to secure the success of the upcoming parliamentary elections by involving all citizens in the election process, while guaranteeing public safety and health.

“We would like to emphasise that Parliament is the most important Constitutional body, whose role is to monitor the government’s performance and draft laws,” Maaytah said.

“We offered people the best election system, but it is up to people to use it to their advantage. We cannot force people to make use of any election system,” Maaytah noted.

SIGI had recently launched the “Eye on Women Programme to Monitor the 2020 Elections from a Gender Perspective”, which was accredited by the IEC as one of the monitoring supervisory bodies.

SIGI has also launched the “Jordanian Women Voters Forum (JWVF) – your voice makes a difference” project, with the aim of disseminating knowledge of various aspects of the electoral process and relevant legislation to "ensure that all those involved, males and females, are fully and clearly aware of the entire electoral process".

The project will design gender-sensitive publications and leaflets containing awareness and guidance material related to the electoral process and distribute the material, including electronic media, in sufficient quantities in various governorates of the Kingdom, the SIGI statement said.

The project will also work on strengthening cooperation with the IEC to raise awareness about the electoral process from a gender perspective through cooperation with the IEC’s volunteers and monitors. 

The Eye on Women programme aims to empower women, emphasise the importance of equal opportunities for Jordanian women, as well as, ensure their active participation in the political, social, economic and cultural decision-making process. 

The JWVF is an online gathering for women as individuals, citizens and voters, which targets women in the field of political empowerment and young women who are interested in the electoral process to increase female representation in Parliament. 


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