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Abstract

Objective: This research focuses on the impact of political parties and electoral quotas on women’s political participation within the context of Islam.

Methods: This study utilizes quantitative methods in analyzing women in eight Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East. The statistical dataset was culled from Kaasem’s work entitled Party Variation in Religiosity and Women's Leadership: A Cross-National Perspective, 2008-2010, published by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research of the University of Michigan. The statistical analysis and modeling focused on selected Middle East countries, namely: Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Turkey, Israel, and Kuwait. The sample consisted of 126 observations at the political party level

Results: Gender is construed as a classification of being a woman or a man not merely by biological identification but one that is embedded within culture, and structures of power in families, communities, and states, which have gender in itself, as an organizing principle. Woman’s question (dispute of women) is identified as a complex personal and social problem, and therefore cannot be rejected as a valid search for gender sameness or equality. Based on the quantitative analysis of the dataset of the survey conducted among selected Middle East countries, electoral quotas and seats occupied in previous parliaments affect women’s nominations in current parliaments.

Conclusion: The research shows that electoral quota for women has proven to increase female participation in parliaments.

Note on the Author

Sophia Francesca Lu is currently a Senior Lecturer at the School of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of the Philippines Diliman. She teaches social statistics and research methods. She has done research on Muslim women and political participation since 2013. She has obtained her master’s degree in Statistics at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, and is now completing her Doctorate Degree at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. 

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