Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-24-02

Bahraini Women Participate in Parliamentary Elections for First Time

Bahrainis are electing their Parliament today for the first time in almost 30 years. But this is set to be a landmark election not only for Bahrain, but the entire Gulf region, where women are denied suffrage. For the first time Bahrain’s history, women are being allowed to run for national office and vote in a parliamentary race. More than 30 women ran for seats in the civic election in May, but not a single woman won despite representing over 50% of voters. There are eight female candidates this time around, and women are hopeful that the king will select a few women for appointed seats in Parliament, the New York Times reports.

The election is one of several major reforms set by Bahraini king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa-al Khalifa, who also allowed women to run and vote in civic elections held earlier this year, according to the Times. The Sunni Muslim king came to power three years ago and promised dramatic political changes, according to the BBC. Bahrain has been ruled by the Khalifa family for over 200 years and is the only Gulf country to allow women the option to vote and run for office. However, not everyone is happy with Bahrain’s recent reforms – the country’s largest Shiite Muslim groups are officially boycotting the election, according to the Times. The groups have labeled the new Parliament a sham since it will have no authority to legislate without the sanction of the other house of Parliament, which the king himself will appoint. The election is being closely monitored by Bahrain’s Gulf neighbors. The current elections are also very important to the US, which has naval bases stationed in the country. Bahrain has been an important ally in the past, but as possible military action against Iraq looms, strong relations between the US and Bahrain are seen as vital by the US government, according to the Times.

Being granted the right to vote is an important step for Bahraini women. Bahraini women state that their rights are constantly undermined by the country’s judicial process based on Islamic sharia law, the Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, a women’s rights rally protesting the country’s judicial system turned rowdy when they were faced with a counter-rally from Shiite Muslim groups who labeled the women’s demands “un-Islamic,” AP reports.

Media Resources: Associated Press 10/14/02; New York Times 10/24/02; BBC 10/24/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
 
2/27/2015 Houston Is Finally Testing a Backlog of Thirty-Year-Old Rape Kits - The city of Houston, Texas has finally begun testing decades-old rape kits - and in just one week, those have led to hundreds of leads. Houston is one of the first of the major cities nation-wide to clear their backlog of over 6,000 untested rape kit s- some of which were more than thirty years old. . . .
 
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .