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to be disappointed that the Arab Spring seems to have produced so few women in power

(17 Posts)
babybarrister Sun 23-Oct-11 20:01:20

where are they? if these new governments are apparently democratic, why aren't there any women shown on TV? I know there have been no elections yet but surely it is a very, very bad sign of things to come

Yama Sun 23-Oct-11 20:05:17

Don't know BabyB. These things take time. I was half watching the Channel 4 News and the chap being interviewed about Tunisia's elections said something like "why not" when asked if the future meant women in the Cabinet.

Women have been involved behind the scenes. Didn't two women in Yemen win the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in women's rights. Progress. Slow, but progress.

I agree that it's still really shit.

ionysis Sun 23-Oct-11 20:07:34

Let's try to let them walk before we start castigating them for not finishing the 100 metres in record time shall we?! Swiss women didn't get the vote until 1971 for god's sake - all in good time.

Esta3GG Sun 23-Oct-11 20:08:44

I fear for the future of women as much now as before. A political vacuum could see the fundamentalists grabbing power (or being appeased) and knocking back women's rights by a few more centuries.

spiderpig8 Sun 23-Oct-11 20:09:12

eh? isn't an Arab spring something like a roundoff? If so it gives plenty of women power!!

lenak Sun 23-Oct-11 20:09:20

Well - there has actually only been one election so far and that was in Tunisia today - and that wasn't actually to elect a government but a caretaker government who will help formulate the democratic plan and governmental set up going forward.

Oh, and the new report I just watched interviewed one of the leading figures from the party expected to win said election - who was a woman.

There have been no elections in Egypt yet - the army are still in charge and I think you should give Lybia a chance given Gadaffi has only just gone.

The arab spring only began in January - centuries of non-democratic rule and deep set cultural and religious attitudes to women are not going to change overnight.

They are on the right path - but it will take a lot longer for the to get anywhere near the final destination!

lenak Sun 23-Oct-11 20:10:09

news

Whatmeworry Sun 23-Oct-11 21:26:16

I think its a bit early in the process, most are on caretaker interims still.

babybarrister Sun 23-Oct-11 21:28:03

I understand re caretaker interims but why virtuallyno women in these either?

microserf Sun 23-Oct-11 22:10:09

oh FFS, you annoy me. Do you read newspapers? Are you aware of what is going on in these countries? Do you expect these countries to suddenly overcome centuries of despotic rule and patriarchy and suddenly elect lots of women? yes, it would be wonderful if they did, but it's not very bloody likely is it?

why don't you focus your concerns on more female representation in the UK? you might actually achieve something rather than worrying about everyone else?

AyeDunnoReally Sun 23-Oct-11 22:14:19

In Tunisia, according to the BBC:

"Voters are choosing 217 members for the Constituent Assembly.

Of these, 199 seats will be contested in 27 constituencies in Tunisia and 18 seats will be marked for Tunisians abroad voting in six overseas constituencies.

Under the system of proportional representation, individual parties have already stated in which order their candidates will take up the party's share of the seats in each constituency. Half the candidates on each list must be women. "

I don't really know why this aspect isn't getting that much press attention. It is a MASSIVE step forward for women's political representation. In world terms, not just for an Arab country.

FreudianSlipper Sun 23-Oct-11 22:22:59

it will happen give them time, india had a female pm long before we did just having a woman in power does not mean equality for all women there are many issues to work on, mainly healthcare, education and poverty to help lift women from the more oppressive societies

and do you really think in countries like tunisia, egypt and libya (and other countries) they want an extreme religious government to take power no of course not they want the freedom that we have to be able to choose how religious they live or do not live their life. religion play a bigger role in everyday life in the middle east and north africa but that does not mean the people want their whole life governed by religious leaders

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Mon 24-Oct-11 00:05:57

They need to ensure that girls are free to get educated, choose who and when they will marry, access health care and family planning, and basically get a life, before they worry about entering politics.
Am cheering microserf wildly here - well said!

milkmilklemonade Mon 24-Oct-11 09:07:41

How patronising. Not all of us are sitting in smug Surrey congratulating ourselves on how, yet again, the west has decided who and what is civilised.
Most women I know, especially my Syrian friends, hate and loath what has happened and just want to get back to normal.
Applying your own values (that are based on the UK news) on to other cultures is short sighted and, frankly a bit pathetic.
It really annoys me, I live this crap every day, I see what is actually happening, I attend the funerals of Palestinian friends, I teach the kids of Iraqis who have no surviving family. Why not worry about the hideous and endless social issues in your tiny little country first.

babybarrister Mon 24-Oct-11 10:20:10

but my point is that there have been women in positions of power in many of these countries - so where are they now?

Hanan Ashrawi was a woman the last time I looked...

and yes I do have experience of living outside of dear Blighty in a developing country before anyone gets too Daily Mail on me! In that country there was in fact a much better representation of women than in the UK so I am certainly not using the UK as some ideal to which all other societies should wish to emulate

I am delighted to see that there will be lots of women in Tunisia as without women in power it is much more unlikely that there will be progress on issues mainly affecting women

and yes I do find it sad that there is scarecely a woman to be seen in any of the transitional governments but I obviously hope that when elections come the position will be different

giveitago Mon 24-Oct-11 10:30:20

They're not going to get from 0 to 100 in 60 seconds.

We've had democracy for years and women have had the vote for quite a while but we struggle to see women fully represented in all walks of life. That's why we still congratulate women on doing so well.

What's happened so far is amazing but it will have it's own problems in each country.

Whatmeworry Mon 24-Oct-11 10:35:47

I think you are judging them very prematurely, IMO you would be better served holding Western democracies to the your standards OP.

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