The head of Egypt’s largest remaining Islamist party has said that the party is looking for female candidates, but he has a few conditions. As Al-Ahram reports:
The head of the Salafist Nour Party said Wednesday the party’s electoral list for the upcoming parliamentary elections will include women on “condition of good morals and wearing hijab (the Muslim head veil).”Youness Makhioun told Al-Ahram Arabic news website the party will field female candidates for the elections and a priority will be set for competent figures.“We have put conditions for the candidacy of women on the lists of Al-Nour Party, like having good manners and reputation, wearing hijab, having experience and qualifications,” Makhioun said.
Despite the legal requirement that each party field a certain number of women in each election, Egypt’s Islamists have gone to great lengths to ensure that women never win. Typically women are relegated to the very bottom of the party lists, meaning they would only be elected if the party won in a landslide.But the efforts of the Salafists to keep women unheard and unseen often reach the level of self-parody. In the last election, photos of female candidates for the Nour party were replaced with stock photos of roses. In 2011, one female candidate used a photo of her husband in campaign materials. Hijabs can be quite colorful and even fashionable when worn as a headscarf but it’s unlikely that the Nour Party would ever back a woman who showed her face. Huda Sharawi, who led a campaign against the veil in the 1920s, weeps from the grave.No word from Mr. Makhioun on whether male candidates would have their manners, reputations, and morals tested before being allowed to run.