Tag Archives: female equality

Kuwait Women Work For Equality

In honor of International Day, Kuwait women examined the current state of their position in their nation. Kuwait is much more open and liberal towards women than certain Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, but vestiges of the less than equal status of women in a Muslim society are still evident. Dr. Assel Alawadhi, a professor at Kuwait University, noted that it was just recently than women began to get involved in the political affairs of her nation and there are a few encouraging signs of progress. However, she expressed disappointment that at educational institutions the segregation of men and women continues. A speaker at the meeting noted that female athletes in Kuwait operate under severe restrictions since the idea of women participating in sports is relatively new.

A major issue discussed at the conference was the desirability of instituting quotas for women in the legislature. Some believed it would establish limits rather than establish a base of participation in the political life of the nation. It is definitely a long road for women to gain the semblance of equality in some Muslim societies.

China Lags In Female Political Leaders

Huang Qingyi, vice-president of the All China Women’s Federation blasted his nation for its failure to include more women in positions of importance. “There needs to be more female leaders in more senior positions in China. And, that includes the very highest leadership.” Historically, males have dominated top positions of the Communist government and the few women tend to be present more for show than for power. Ms. Qingyi pointed out that women know have equal educational levels with their male counterparts but this is not reflected in positions of responsibility in the government. Although about 40% of civil servants are women, few rise to higher managerial positions in government. At the 11th Annual People’s Congress earlier this year, women accounted for just over 21 percent of the deputies while at the 11th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference they were just under 18 percent of those attending.

It is generally agreed that gender inequality is prevalent in most aspects of Chinese society including the business community. Six out of ten unemployed people are women.

It Reigns Women Politicians In Spain!

For the first time in European history a nation is being led by more female politicians than male. The new Spanish cabnet sworn in by socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has nine women alongside eight males including Spain’s first female Defense Minister. Spain is the nation whose exaggerated adherence to masculine values added the word, “machismo” to the English language. Under the dictatorial regime of General Francisco Franco, women couldn’t even open a bank account or sign a contract without permission of their husband. The idea a woman could serve in the armed forces was unheard of in Franco’s Spain, but today they constitute 20% of all members of the miltiary. The Conservative daily newspaper, El Mundo, was furious at what it termed, “an exercise in political marketing” that offended the values and traditions of the Spanish military by subjecting its members to be led by a woman!

Prime Minister Zaptero pushed through legislation which prohibits more than 60% of the candidates of any political party from being male or female. As he once described himself, “I am not only anti-machoist, I am a feminist. The most unfair domination is that of one half of humanity over the other. The more equality women will have, the more civilised and tolerant society will be.” Actually, the concept of female political equality is even more engrained in Scandinavian nations where the idea of ‘every second seat” being held by a woman is now accepted practice.

Ironically, America which claims to be a leader in democracy has fallen way behind other nations in terms of female political equality. Ity is doubtful if such legislation as that proposed by Zaptero would ever be accepted by the United States Congress.