Women’s participation in political life has triggered many discussions by legal officials, politicians, as well as feminist and non-feminist civil society institutions in the Maghreb, and in the Arab world in general.
Positions vary from supporters of women on the basis of the principle of equality among all members of society, to opposers of women’s penetration into decision-making circles and having them disrupt traditional models rooted in the collective epidiascope.
In the same context, many views call for the need to adhere to the principle of women’s quotas in the laws of Arab elections for example, that are dominantly “masculine” and hostile to this mechanism on the basis of absolute gender equality.
It should be noted that Maghreb women today are not the same as they used to be under the wave of colonization that swept the Arab world far from the social movement. However, with the start of their education, women’s political and national awareness started taking shape in all Arab countries to coincide with the growing political events, since their participation increased in public affairs and they engaged in political organizations and movements of national resistance.
Despite the adoption by constitutions and laws in the Arab States of the principle of equality among all citizens in rights and duties without discrimination of race, color or religion, women did not receive political representation through which they reflect their relative weight in the population and economic census on the one hand, and the weight of their sacrifices on the other hand.
We must acknowledge that the issue of the lack of women’s participation is very important, because it reflects the tensions of modernization in our region, and reveals the deposits and obstacles that are rooted in religious interpretations and obsolete social traditions.
At the economic level, women imbued the superiority of men because of the patriarchal division of labor: women stayed at home to make babies, and men went to the field or factory to earn the means of subsistence, which led to the exclusion of women from logos circles in general.
At the political level, the generalized reluctance to participate in public affairs contributes in having women close up to their own private circle, and to bet on individual solutions to overcome daily life problems.
At the psychological level, some researchers believe that the primary role played by Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) in the great sedition had a major impact on Arab and Islamic psychology. When a woman entered the field of public policy, and Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) led the rebel party against the third Caliph Othman, that caused “major sedition”. This civil war left in the Arab and Islamic subconscious indelible scars, because the shock was violent and destructive, although the values of Islam encourage the principles of deliberation and participation without any discrimination on the basis of gender.
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