Sourced by Meredith O’Connell
Following a decision by King Abdullah, women will be allowed to join the Shura Council, his main group of advisers expected to reconvene early next year. The format is seen as a compromise with hardline Islamic factions that oppose even small reforms in the ultraconservative kingdom, where sex segregation is a widespread custom.
Abdullah has pledged to allow women to vote and run in the next municipal elections in 2015. But Saudi women still face many restrictions, including a ban on driving.
The official, quoted in Al-Watan newspaper on Wednesday, says an internal communications network will allow men and women to communicate despite the barrier.
Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) unveiled on Tuesday the agenda for its Third Arab Women Leadership Forum which will kick off on 19th November in Dubai.
“The theme of the Third Arab Women Leadership Forum “Board Leadership & the Case for Diversity” builds on the efforts of DWE’s “Women in Boards Initiative” and offers the opportunity not only to develop the skills base and confidence levels required for women to pursue positions of leadership and responsibility, but equally to help build a corporate culture that accepts, trusts and values the capabilities of women in senior positions of leadership and appreciates their input”.
“Across the Middle East, there is ever-growing encouragement for women to step up and play their part in enhancing their community. In the UAE in particular, we have a strong leadership that is dedicated to empowering women, to helping us to grow and become part of the prosperous Emirati economy,” said Hala Badri, Executive Vice President, Brand and Communications, du. “It is this strong stance on the integration of more women into the workforce that makes the UAE the ideal host location for the Arab Women Leadership Forum. We whole-heartedly support this effort and endeavour to empower women in as many ways as possible, with almost 30% of our colleagues being female, and 15% of our senior managerial roles filled by women.
Leaders in the debate coined the “War on Women” have excluded the voices and interests of black women, according to a new report by Higher Heights for America. The organization released its Black Women’s Response to the War on Women in late October to highlight their absence as this election cycle has raised tensions between the right and left. Issues ranging from reproductive health to voting rights have been hotly contested — issues that the group say impact black women most of all.
“Black women represented over 68% of the [African-American] electorate in the 2008 election and in part helped to elect President Obama,” the report states. In addition, “As it relates to Black women’s impact on the economy, their spending power is estimated at over $565 billion.”
Still, African-American women lag behind white women in the areas of health, earnings, net worth and more. Essentially, every category deemed a determining factor of social success being contested in the War on Women finds black women falling behind.
For the first time in political history, an all-female delegation will serve in the U.S. Congress.
New Hampshire’s two House seats went to Democrats Ann McLane Kuster and former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen already serve in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Democrat Maggie Hassan won the state’s governor’s race against Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne.
With the two female House victories, New Hampshire voters sent both of its Republican male congressmen packing.
Interestingly, both congressional races were re-matches of 2010 House match-ups.
Incumbent Rep. Charlie Bass lost to Kuster, whom he had defeated two years ago. Analysts thought Bass would hang on from name recognition, but Kuster proved the better fundraiser. Her campaign of “frugal Yankee values” includes running the family cars past 200,000 miles. Next road trip, Washington.
Independent women’s groups are already ‘‘very active’’ in Myanmar, said John Hendra, an assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, speaking in a telephone interview shortly after he visited the country in October.
In Myanmar, the United Nations hopes to start by gathering data on the condition of women ‘‘to get a really good diagnostic of the situation there, because there is really not very much known,’’ said Mr. Hendra.
Other major goals include passing a law to address gender and domestic violence in Myanmar. Currently Myanmar, Laos and China all are lacking such legislation. U.N. Women also wants to train woman negotiators and mediators in conflict situations in Myanmar, where deadly ethnic violence has flared between members of the Rohingya, who are mostly Muslim, and Buddhists.
More broadly, he said, the United Nations is concerned about a ‘‘push-back’’ on women’s sexual and reproductive rights worldwide. Gender violence and maternal mortality remain severe problems, and women’s representation in parliaments remains low, averaging about 20 percent; it is even lower in Asia, at around 17 percent.
The fifth batch of participants of ActionAid’s Global Change Course organized a two week-long campaign against sexual harassments in public places starting October 16 with their partner alliances Mahila Adhikar Manch, Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj and HomeNet Nepal.
The organizers held meetings with the Department of Transportation Management and submitted letters demanding help minimize sexual harassments in public vehicles.
Twenty two participants from six different countries gathered in the capital and worked on the issue through three work groups: the communication group, events group and research and lobby group with an aim to create a safer city where women can walk without fear of harassment.
Stencils were used as visual medium to inform people and the participants also organized flashmobs on October 17 at Old and New Bus parks and Kathmandu Mall.
The campaign also brought to light the Public Offence Act 1970 which mentions a little about sexually molesting females in public places but nothing specific about sexual harassments in public vehicles. At the women’s workshop organized on November 2, representatives of the campaign’s partner alliances and students shared their personal experiences of visual, verbal and physical sexual harassments and measures they can adopt during such occasions.