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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Women win parliamentary seats for first time in Kuwait

"Kuwait elected its first female lawmakers in the conservative Gulf state where men have dominated parliament for nearly five decades.
Rola Dashti is one of four women who won parliamentary seats in the recent elections in Kuwait.

Four women won parliamentary seats in the general elections Saturday, the official Kuwait News Agency said.
Women were first granted the right to vote and run four years ago, but they failed to make inroads in the country's parliament in the past two elections.
Preliminary results released Sunday show that university instructor Aseel al-Awadhi and economist Rola Dashti were among four women who won seats.
The U.S.-educated Al-Awadhi has a doctorate and has been a member of Amnesty International, Kuwait News Agency said.
Dashti has worked as a consultant for several companies and chairs the Kuwait Economists Society, according to the news agency.
Two hundred and ten candidates ran for 50 seats in the general election, and 16 of the candidates were women.
The elections were called after the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah , dissolved parliament, which is made up mostly of opposition politicians.

The parliament had been locked in a feud with the government, which it accuses of corruption and abuse of power. It has been pressuring the government for the right to question ministers on deals.
The parliament is made up of elected lawmakers, but ministers are appointed.
The emir said he was dissolving parliament to put an end to a crisis that had paralyzed decision-making.
The al-Sabah family has run Kuwait since it came into existence more than two centuries ago.


Traditions die hard, however it is nice to see that women in countries such as Kuwait are finally getting a chance to asssume key roles in the government there.Let's hope that this is the beginning of even more opportunities for women in Kuwait and countries such as Kuwait! It is nice for Cnn to report this story, however as far as I am concerned they dropped the ball, they should have taken the time to list all of the Kuwaiti women who were elected!! After I visited the Kuwait news agency:

I discovered that "the four newly-elected female lawmakers are Dr. Ma'souma Al-Mubarak - a former minister who won the largest number of votes in the third constituency, Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi who came second in the same constituency, Dr. Salwa Al-Jassar - representative of the second constituency, and Dr. Rola Dashti from the third constituency."

As stated by Montaha Al-Fadhli of the Kuwait news agency:

"The successful bids of the four academicians represent a dramatic turning point in the history of Kuwait's parliament and reflect a clear change in the social concepts of Kuwaiti society.The hard win is brought about four years after the Kuwaiti women's political rights had been enshrined in the country's legislations. This is a short time if compared with the progress of woman political empowerment in other Arab countries."The Kuwaiti women have been able to notch up this great victory at a crucial time and set a precedent in the history of Arabian Gulf parliaments," Dr. Mohammad Al-Feili, professor of constitutional law at Kuwait University (KU), believes.Although the number of female candidates in the just ended elections was only 16, far less than the number of those who stood for the last two elections - 28 candidates in 2006 and 26 in 2008, the results of the elections reflected a storm of change in the voters' concepts," he said. The female MPs will make up nine percent of the total number of members the 50-seat National Assembly, Dr. Al-Feili added, noting that the percentage was almost the same as those of the parliaments of many European countries.

"Dr. Al-Feili voiced hope that the woman's accession to the National Assembly would improve the parliamentary performance and the conduct of MPs in general.Dr. Khaldoun Al-Naqib, professor of political sociology and psychology, said the female candidates were able to gain support from voters due to their high scientific qualifications and their integrity shown clearly during campaigning.Regardless of their political affiliations, the female candidates introduced themselves to voters as advocates of reform and adopted platforms aiming to get the country out of the current crises.

Congratulations to all of you, and best wishes to all of you in your new duties in the Kuwaiti government!!

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.