Gender balance must become the new norm in defining 'democracy'

An article in the Washington Post investigates how women have fared in Middle Eastern countries following the 'Arab Spring.' New resources have been collected by the Project on Middle East Political Science.

A wide-ranging political science literature on the challenges facing women’s political participation has highlighted variables such as Islamist movements, discourses on nationalism and citizenship, patterns of state development and cultural norms of patriarchy. But these broad discussions often fail to account for disparities in women’s experiences, not only among different states, but also sub-nationally. The scholars in the POMEPS workshop have taken advantage of new data sources, new organizations and campaigns and variation to highlight the diversity of the experience of women across the region.

A central concern is that 'democratic' processes dominated by men and religious conservatives can wind back improvements in the status of women obtained under previous authoritarian regimes. 

We reckon that the patriarchal model of democracy is showing its age and that a new norm based on equal gender representation is required to replace it. The 5050 electorate model we present is one way to achieve this.