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GCC women’s rights facts

Where women stand in Gulf countries

— UAE: A woman currently holds a ministerial position in the federal government. Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy and Planning, was appointed in November last year. Many women also hold senior posts in the government.

— BAHRAIN: Women can stand as candidates and vote in municipal and parliamentary elections. Six women were appointed to the Shura Council in 2002. In April 2004, Nada Abbas Haffadh was made health minister, the first Bahraini woman to become a minister.

— KUWAIT: Parliament passed a law in May 2005 giving women the right to vote and run in elections to the 50-seat National Assembly. In June 2005 women were appointed to the municipal council. Yesterday, the first woman minister, Maasouma Al Mubarak, was appointed.

— OMAN: In 1994, Oman became the first GCC state to grant women voting rights. Women first ran for national office in the 2000 elections for the Consultative Council, the elected chamber of Oman’s bicameral representative body, the Majlis; two women won. Seven women now serve in the State Council, the appointed chamber of the Majlis. Oman has three woman ministers.QATAR: A decree establishing the Central Municipal Council in 1998 gave male and female Qataris the right to vote and to run for the council. One woman won a seat in the April 2003 council elections.

— SAUDI ARABIA: Women are barred from standing in elections or voting.



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