Women's political participation in Egypt: the role of the National Council for Women

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The pivotal role of Egyptian women in recent revolutionary movements, represented in January 25 and June 30 revolutions, has been well documented. Ironically, after January 25 revolution, women's status in Egypt has regressed in the realm of civil rights, freedoms and equal representation. Despite the significant role of the National Council for Women (NCW) in the process of women empowerment in Egypt before the revolutions, its efforts had been somewhat limited. With upcoming parliamentary elections, the NCW is working to empower women to gain their rightful representation. This research endeavours to assess the effectiveness of the role of NCW in promoting women’s political participation in the genesis of the revolutions, with special regards to the 2015 parliamentary elections. The research argues that the role of NCW is rather limited due to three factors: shortcomings within the NCW institutional framework; shortcomings within the Egyptian legal/constitutional framework; and shortcomings within the Egyptian societal and cultural heritage.