Jordan sets aside seats for women in July municipal elections–more tribalism or a fresh approach?

Did I read this right? Jordan has often talked about setting aside a certain number of elected offices for women, but it looks like they finally did it. They have set aside 220 municipal council sets for women. But what and where are “municipal council seats”, and why are there 965 of them? My understanding of Jordanian politics is that everything takes place on a tribal or family basis. It will be interesting to see if the entry of women into the political equation leads to a fresh approach or yields the same old tribal politics.

Here is the complete writeup from the April 5, 2007 online edition of the Jordan Times. (Links are active for one week.)

Thuheirat highlights significant changes offered under new Municipalities Law

AMMAN (JT) — Minister of Municipal Affairs Nader Thuheirat on Wednesday highlighted the significant changes offered under the new Municipalities Law. During a meeting with directors of municipal departments across the country, Thuheirat said the new law fosters the participation of young people and women in the municipal elections. Under the law, the age of eligible voters has been reduced from 19 to 18 years to expand the base of voters. The law also allocates a minimum of 220 out of the 965 municipal council seats for women. Municipal elections are scheduled to be held in July.

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