Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon Emmanuelle Lamoureux in Beirut, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)
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A first-of-its-kind conference this week brought together women parliamentarians from around the Middle East and North Africa to talk about the challenges to and opportunities for greater female political representation.Although Lebanon's six female MPs elected last year represent a slight increase from the four in the previous Parliament, Jamali said the number was still insufficient and pointed to the need for a quota for female representation.MP Ferida Abidi of Tunisia, where 31 percent of parliamentarians are now women, told The Daily Star that she hoped her country's experiences would help women elsewhere in the region.Algeria, where a quota system adopted in 2012 requires that women constitute about 30 percent of candidate lists, has also seen significant gains in female participation in Parliament in the years since, although the percentage of women in Parliament, after jumping to 31 percent in 2012, dropped to 26 percent in 2017 .Jordanian MP Wafa Bani Mustafa said she was pushing to raise her country's female representation quota. At present, just 20 of the 130 legislators in the lower house are female, and only 15 seats are reserved for women.
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