Consultation for the UNDP Reference Guide on Women’s Political Participation in the Arab Region

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United Nations Development Programme is currently developing its Reference Guide on Women’s Political Participation in the Arab Region1


Many factors impact women’s meaningful representation and participation in the Arab Region. For one, temporary special measures (TSMs), such as quota systems found in many countries of the Arab region, have not been fully effective. Specifically there is a lack of mechanisms to enforce TSMs, and a lack of women’s meaningful inclusion in decision-making once elected or appointed. The Arab States still have an average of 18% female parliamentarians, and the region ranks second lowest for female representation.2 Other factors include women’s access to positions in political bodies, especially decision-making positions, barriers of finances, social practices and/or expectations, and poor security. Structural conditions such as the type of electoral system or the chosen temporary special measure also impact women’s representation. Parliamentary bylaws and political party statutes as well as gaps between legislation and socio-economic factors are yet another factor. The media may also act as a barrier, often disseminating and reinforcing negative portrayals of female candidates, limiting the air time for female candidates. In addition, a number of socio-cultural factors and aspects of patriarchal societies in the Arab Region impact women’s access to political bodies, especially decision-making roles within those bodies. 


The UNDP Amman Regional Hub is currently collecting data for the Reference Guide. The purpose of the consultation and the Guide is to highlight good practices, strategies and mechanisms as well as success stories and lessons learned that have contributed to overcoming the barriers to women’s political participation in the Arab region.

The purpose of the consultation is to gather information from civil society actors and Women Leaders in the Arab region about barriers to and strategies to increase women’s representation and qualitative participation in their specific country context, with a focus on success factors, success stories and continuing challenges.

Civil society organisations and Women Leaders (in Parliament, Government, Political Parties or CSO) are invited to participate in the consultation by completing the questionnaire:

Please return this questionnaire by 31 May 2018 to the UNDP Amman Regional Hub ( and UNDP’s commissioned consultant Nathalie Ebead ( to draft the Reference Guide.

 UNDP includes 17 countries in the Arab Region: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen. It also has a Programme for Assistance for the Palestinian People.