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Poll power for Bahrain women
[October 01, 2009]

Poll power for Bahrain women


(TradeArabia Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) (Dateline: Manama ) A nationwide campaign is being launched to secure seats for women in parliament and all five municipal councils in next year's elections.

Women are being taught how to campaign as candidates, or in support of others.

An 'army' of women is also being trained to take the message out to the country's villages.

Thirty carefully selected women will be taught how to campaign in elections at a conference next week.

The five-day event, organised by the Supreme Council of Women, aims at making the women capable of either running as candidates, or campaigning for others.

It will be held from next Sunday to Thursday, at the council's headquarters in Riffa, in co-ordination with Mayasim Telecommunications Company.

Council officials believe that despite a late start they can still prepare the women on time for next year's elections, the dates for which have yet to be set. The goal is to secure two seats for women in each of the five municipal councils and in parliament.



They also aim to create a team of women capable of influencing the outcome of elections, by managing or taking part in campaigns.

'We are capitalising on our strengths and addressing our weaknesses, which were listed in our report on the 2006 elections,' the council's women's empowerment assistant secretary-general Dhawiya Al Alawi said at a Press conference at the council HQ yesterday.


Influencing 'The council has prepared strong specialised programmes, not just this conference, to ensure women get more seats in parliament.

'We have already managed to secure training in municipal elections from Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi, who has prepared a complete programme in that field.' Conference organiser Dr Mai Al Otaibi said that the main aim of the conference was to get women prepared for the elections - whether as candidates or campaign leaders.

'I believe that the period of a year before the elections is set to begin is not enough, but hopefully we will be able to prepare women on time for the event.

'Bahrain's parliament only has one woman, while none are municipal councillors, and this is not enough as we aim for at least two in parliament and hopefully the same in the municipal councils.

'To me I want to get 20 in each, but that's difficult, considering that a lot of work is needed, but for everything there is a beginning.' Five experts in elections, including Dr Al Otaibi, have been assigned to run the workshops.

They are divided as follows: Bahrain's elections in general, candidates and media friendliness, community awareness and running campaigns, elections networking, and the direction the electoral may take.-TradeArabia News Service (c) 2009 Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company

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