MPs or "dolls" at Parliament
Some of the MPs have been
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In early March the RM Parliament was dissolved in order to hold early parliamentary elections. The voice and the ability of Albanian women were obviously not heard enough in the Parliament and were abused for partisan purposes and daily politics by their leaders.
Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) was the first party in 1998 to entrust minister function to Ms Mirije Rushani, Minister of Education and Science. The same party for the first time in Macedonia in 2009 came up in presidential elections with a woman candidate – Mirushe Hodza.
Several years later, in 2012, Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) appointed Teuta Arifi Minister for Euro-Integration. She is now the first female mayor of the municipality of Tetovo, the position elected in the local elections in 2013. Arifi was also the first female Albanian MP, elected in 2002. From 2012-2014, a total of 27 women from various Albanian parties represented voters in the Parliament.
Quantity “covers” quality
According to experts, the biggest problem is that women in politics are not a reflection of themselves, but of those “leading” features, thanks to the links they gain with the political leaders.
Analyst Robert Nesimi believes that the reason why in the last decade the number of Albanian women in politics has increased is because the law obliges one third of the candidates of one party to be of the gentler sex.
“I think the representation of women in the Parliament is only quantity, not quality. Bravo for exceptions, Albanian women in politics are anonymous, although performing significant functions. They cannot be said to have an important role in creating policies of their parties or the state. The positions held by most of them, unfortunately, look like an ornament and not as actual representative of voters”, points out Nesimi.
Aferdita Hadzhijaja Imeri, expert on social inclusion, believes that most of the women MPs have their parliamentary term as a “gift” from the legislation. According to her, political parties do not essentially promote true democratic values in relation to the inclusion of women in politics.
“Party structures are patriarchal, represented by the dominance of men, where the first and last word has the leader of the party”, she says.
Imeri says that the decision making process in political parties is often not transparent and comprehensive, but is a result of negotiations in closed groups where women are excluded.
“As far as the selection of candidates is concerned, I can say that their professional responsibilities are concerned very little or not at all. Almost always advantage is given to candidates who are loyal and obedient to the directives of the leader or the party leadership”, points out Imeri.
Albanian female politicians – invisible
According to Imeri, this phenomenon is confirmed by the fact that we cannot hear many MPs during the election campaign, or during the parliamentary term. Imeri admits there have been women in Parliament active in the elaboration of the political goals of the parties they represent. As an example she mentions Teuta Arifi, Flora Kadriu, Ermira Mehmeti and Mirushe Hodza. However, she notes that most of the Albanian MPs in Parliament are there just to meet the legal quota.
For analysts, the increase in the number of female MPs is a result of this law, where women are guaranteed one-third of the seats in Parliament. From this context, experts say that they are usually elected as a result of compromises between different clans in their parties.
“Such mechanism does not exist in countries such as the UK or U.S., where women like Margaret Thatcher and Nancy Pelosi got functions to be women PMs or members of Congress only for their individual qualities,” says analyst Nesimi.
Meanwhile, some MPs during their terms have been so invisible that they do not even have biography on the official website of the Macedonian Parliament.
It is believed that similar marginal role have women who have positions in Albanian parties.
The level of politics
However, analysts Imeri and Nesimi consider that a good part of the men also play the role of an ordinary voter.
“Neither male MPs from Albanian parties are more active and engaged in Parliament. There are only a few MPs who discuss, and the rest just play the role of voters”, said Imeri.
Nesimi thinks just the same. Neither men MPs are elected on the basis of their merits and qualities, but because of the closeness with the various party leaders or party groups.
As a result of this situation, experts estimate that historically the Parliament has had weak composition.
“Therefore we cannot talk about a mechanism to enhance the role of women in politics without discussing improvements and raising the general level of conducting politics” concluded Nesimi.
Editor: Selim Ibraimi