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1 in 3 women parliamentary candidates face cyberbullying — study

By Rana Husseini - Nov 05,2020 - Last updated at Nov 05,2020

AMMAN — One in three women candidates running for the upcoming parliamentary elections, slated for November 10, said that they were subjected to cyberbullying, a local study revealed on Thursday.

The finding was announced in the study prepared by Solidarity Is Global Institute (SIGI) Eye on Women Programme to Monitor the 2020 Elections from a Gender Perspective.

"Around 20 per cent of the female candidates reported that their banners were either torn apart, stolen or had demeaning comments written on them, “and that they were criticised based on their appearance or slandered and cursed via social media,” according to the study.

The SIGI monitoring project, which targeted 36 per cent of female candidates to learn more about the challenges and hurdles they faced as well as society and their families’ stance on running for elections, has been accredited by the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

The total number of registered candidates now stands at 1,674, including 360 women, according to the IEC. 

The study pointed out that around 90 per cent of the female candidates launched their elections campaign on time.

A similar figure of 90.8 per cent of the women running for elections said they took the decision to run for elections independently “because they were convinced of the importance of women taking part in the legislative and democratic race”.

Meanwhile, 21.5 per cent of the female candidates decided to run based on a decision by the political parties they are affiliated to as members or leaders in their entities, according to the study.

The study also revealed that 46.2 per cent of the female candidates had previous election experience, while 76.9 per cent ran but did not win, and 53.8 per cent indicated that they had no previous election experience. 

The study also pointed out that 92.2 per cent of the women surveyed indicated that they paid for their election campaigns from their own money.  

In addition, 61.5 per cent of the female candidates said they will run again for elections if they fail this year, according to the study.

In the previous Lower House, 20 women won seats, including 15 who secured their seats via the women’s quota that was introduced in 2003, while the rest won in direct competition.

Before 2003, when the six-seat quota was introduced and later increased to 15 seats, only one woman, Toujan Faisal, managed to win a seat in direct competition.

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 programme includes several activities including monitoring the 2020 parliamentary elections from a gender perspective along with motivating and building the capacity of women candidates and voters, according to SIGI.  


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