Egypt parliament gives women quota for lower house

The Egyptian parliament has passed a law giving women a 64 seat quota in the country's lower chamber, more than a fifth of the total assembly number, according to local media reports Monday. The legislation followed a pledge made last year by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to increase the number of women in parliament and give them a more active voice in the male-dominated government. The new law also increased the total number of parliament seats to 518 - from the present 454 seats - that will come into effect after next year's parliament elections, the leading daily Al-Ahram said. The Egyptian parliament has two chambers. The lower house, or People's Assembly is dominated by the ruling party. The 264-seat Upper House, called the Shoura Council, has no legislative powers and enjoys only a consultative role.