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

7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order. Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
 
7/27/2015 "After Tiller" Was Nominated For An Emmy - Documentary film After Tiller was nominated for two Emmy Awards: Best Documentary, and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The Point of View (POV) documentary follows the aftermath of the murder of Dr. . . .
 
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents. Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force. "Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices, said Spillar. . . .