Sourced by Meredith O’Connell
“Men here traditionally want their women to stay at home, and when they allow them to go out to work, they send them to do traditional jobs like teaching,” said Maysoun Qawasmi, the 43-year-old group leader, who entered the race this week. “But we want them to go further, to work like men in all possible jobs they can.”
The all-female list, which is called “By Participating, We Can,” is gearing up for next month’s vote with a campaign that aims both to win at the polls and to convince voters that women can lead just as well as men.
The group is fielding 11 previously independent candidates for the Oct. 20 vote. Should the bloc succeed in garnering significant public support, the women hope to ultimately unite and form an official political party.
The positive impact of women, not only on business, but also the economy, sustainable development and society in general is increasingly being recognised by organisations like the UN, at international conferences like Rio+20 and by governments. However, while many leaders recognise the positive impact gender diversity can have on business performance, this belief often does not translate into action.
Leadership for sustainability often requires principally feminine attributes such as cooperation, holistic thinking and intuitive decision-making, to work alongside masculine principles of competition and linear thinking. Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, ran her company according to feminine principles, describing her technique as:
“caring, making intuitive decisions, not getting hung up on hierarchy, having a sense of work as being part of your life not separate from it, putting your labour where your love is, being responsible to the world in how you use your profits, recognising the bottom line should stay at the bottom.”
“Indeed, literacy among girls and women is lower than among males, and there continue to be violations of their civil and human rights.”
Marzuki, who is also the speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, was speaking at the opening of the 33rd conference of the WAIPA, the women’s chapter of the AIPA.
The report titled “Will I get my dues before I die?” spotlights various personal laws covering Hindu, Muslim and Christian family matters in Bangladesh, showing how they fail to recognise a wife’s contribution in the marital home as well as her right to an equal share property at the time of divorce.
“Bangladesh is world famous for programs meant to reduce women’s poverty, yet for decades it has ignored how discriminatory personal laws drive many women into poverty,” Aruna Kashyap, Asia researcher for women’s rights and author of the report, said in a statement.
“With many women precariously housed or struggling to feed themselves when their marriages break down, Bangladesh should immediately reform its personal laws, fix its family courts, and provide state assistance to poor women.”
Activists estimate that 50,000 unborn babies are aborted in Nepal every year after parents find out through ultrasound scans that they are girls. This does not include abortions carried out without parents knowing the gender of their babies, half of which are likely also girls.
In our obsession with dead-end politics, a news item last week on the shocking surge in female foeticide in Nepal went barely noticed. The investigative report by Ramji Dahal in our sister publication Himal Khabarpatrika delved into how the legalisation of abortion five years ago has led to the proliferation of ultrasound clinics across the country allowing parents to terminate pregnancies if they are girls.
The legislation was passed to give women a choice, to reduce Nepal’s appalling maternal mortality rate, and to stop the practice of relatives accusing young daughters-in-law of abortion just to put them behind bars. The law has benefited tens of thousands of women across Nepal, and freed many innocent unjustly jailed women. But as abortion became easier, it has resulted in the appalling spread of female foeticide.