Jordan is bracing itself for a record low turnout in today’s general election as Islamist parties boycott what they say is a government-controlled sham.
Protesters say parliament has lost its independence and is increasingly a mere rubber stamp for government policies.
As the Islamists opt out the number of seats set aside for women has doubled from six to twelve.
Despite the increase, the number of women candidates has fallen from 2007 levels.
However many would-be female MPs complain that it is men who have the financial power in Arab society. One woman candidate told euronews the main reason was that men have much more financial power in Arabic societies. They can “spend more on gathering support”, she said.
Although Jordan’s 120-seat lower house approves laws and monitors government performance, it is the King who retains complete authority.
Mohamad Elhamy, euronews’ Middle East correspondent, who is covering the election said: “despite the increase in the number of seats for women, many obstacles stand in the way of Jordanian women influencing political life. Their 12-seat quota is the only chance they have to enter the political arena.”