The Middle East and North Africa region is heavily criticized by international organizations for its democracy
deficit, in particular women’s access to the political system. Arab women’s representation in legislatures is
the lowest in the world, at about 6.5%.
On July 7 2008, Sudan’s legislature passed a new electoral law that created
the framework for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for February 2010. According to the law,
the hybrid electoral system will elect 60% of the parliamentary seats by a plurality, popular vote in geographical electoral
districts. Of the remaining 40% of the seats, 15% will be elected by proportional representation and 25% will be reserved
seats for women from separate electoral lists.