[state] women’s political participation

Le troisième Forum des Féministes Africaines qui s´est tenu à Dakar du 20 au 24 Octobre est une conference biennale qui traite de l´agenda du mouvement féministe africain, et des préoccupations et actions des femmes africaines sur une plateforme commune. C’est au cours de cette troisieme édition que les participantes ont unanimement signé un certain nombre de pétitions dont notamment celle adressée au Président de la Transition, Président de la République de Guinée afin de lancer un appel urgent à l´action en faveur du respect des droits des femmes, du maintien de la paix et de la sécurité avant, pendant et apres les scrutin présidentiel en cours.

The recent election of Bahrain’s first female municipal councilor is boosting hopes among women here that they are seeing the beginning of the end to gender-based voting in this country. Indeed, even the women who failed in their own poll bids – some for the second or third time – are upbeat following the Oct. 30 win of Fatima Salman as councilor in Muharraq, the second largest city in Bahrain. Mariam Al Ruwai, president of Bahrain’s Women Union, is also raring to run again in the next polls, scheduled for 2014, despite her elimination from the first round of the recent parliamentary election.

Bahrain has made history by electing its first woman to a municipal council, as the country went to the polls for the second time in a week. Independent candidate Fatima Salman sealed victory in the second round of voting in Muharraq against male opponent Mohammed Abdulla Al Senan. She is the first woman to be directly elected to public office since Bahrain's parliament and five municipal councils were formed in 2002. Latifa Al Gaoud, the first woman to make it to parliament in 2006, was re-elected again this year - but ran unopposed both times.

The Asian Human Rights Commission extends its congratulation to Ms. Asma Jahangir and her colleagues for their victory of different offices at the Supreme Court Bar Association elections. Her victory as the president of the highest bar association of Pakistan will strengthen the lawyer's movement for an independent bar, the supremacy of the judiciary and the rule of law. Her success is a victory for the democratic forces, lovers of freedom of expression and the independence of the media. 

In this Groundviews interview, the interviewer asks WLUML Council member, Chulani Kodikara, about affirmative action, and also whether for example, the entry of telegenic females sans political acumen to parliament in any way helps advocacy on stronger female representation. Pegged to this, he also questions her about substantive equality, that goes beyond, in her own words, the classical liberal notion of formal equality which assume that removing formal barriers, for example giving women the right to vote and be elected to political office, is sufficient to give women equal access to political institutions.

A national survey of the political, economic, social and legal status of women in Morocco released today by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) shows a mixed picture of women’s status in the region.

The appointment of Roza Otunbaeva as head of state for a transition period of a year and a half is an attempt to ensure Kyrgyzstan has a strong hand on the tiller until the planned political reforms have taken root. The reasons for elevating Otunbaeva, named as acting prime minister in the administration that came to power in early April, are understandable. There are, however, also a number of problems and potential pitfalls associated with the decision. The interim government took control following the popular unrest of April 6 and 7, which swept former president Kurmanbek Bakiev from power.

Newly elected Conservative MP Michelle Donelan appears in this Channel 4 news video with Lesley Abdela debating the issue of women in politics. Watch and cringe - she is, of course, against quotas. We need quality, not quantity, she cries. 

Religious women make change happen, whether it’s by seeking peace or inciting war. Strong beliefs can inspire social justice or block a woman's access to freedom or equality. Join the International Museum of Women as they explore the relationship between faith and politics in the lives of women around the world. 

The announcement of the new Ministerial Portfolios has everyone talking. Who has got demoted or promoted, included or excluded, or whether the appointments are apt, or not, is a common talking point whether in Colombo or elsewhere. Amongst the surprises were the appointments of two men as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment previously known as Women’s Affairs. Cat’s Eye decided to conduct a spot poll of some women on what they thought about this choice.

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