[state] women’s political participation

The new prime minister of Somalia, rated as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman, has appointed a female foreign minister. Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan was one of two women chosen to join a lean cabinet of 10 ministers charged with leading the east African country out of decades of conflict and building on military gains made against the Islamist militants of al-Shabaab.

The women's movement must argue against a de-historicized understanding of new social movements in the African region, profiling examples of women’s active participation and leadership and situating these movements in the history of African people’s struggles for building alternative world orders, says Hakima Abbas.

Security leaks have brought to light a plot to kill human rights defender Asma Jahangir - former UN Special Rapporteur for Religious Freedom and the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. Jahangir has been a vocal and outspoken leader of the human rights movement in Pakistan for over 30 years and is respected both within Pakistan and the international community.

عزيزي كينيث روث

في مقدمة تقرير هيومن رايتس واتش 2012، "حان الوقت للتخلي عن المستبدين واحتضان الحقوق"، فإنك تدعو لدعم الحكومات الجديدة التي جاءت بالإخوان المسلمين للسلطة في مصر وتونس. ومن أجل تلبية رغبة "المشاركة البناءة" مع هذه الحكومات الجديدة، فإنك تدعو الدول لوقف مساندة المستبدين. لكنك لست دولة بل مدير مؤسسة دولية لحقوق الإنسان وعليك أن تلعب دورا في الإبلاغ عن انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان، وهي مهمة شريفة وضرورية تم تجاهلها في مقالك بشكل واضح.

Dear Kenneth Roth,

In your Introduction to Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2012, “Time to Abandon the Autocrats and Embrace Rights,” you urge support for the newly elected governments that have brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Tunisia and Egypt. In your desire to “constructively engage” with the new governments, you ask states to stop supporting autocrats. But you are not a state; you are the head of an international human rights organization whose role is to report on human rights violations, an honorable and necessary task which your essay largely neglects.

The Egyptian elections delivered a parliament that has one of the lowest rates of female representation in the world. Yet this is the parliament that expresses the political will of the people of Egypt. It may also be one that ignores the social realities of gender and of women’s political participation, says Hania Sholkamy.

The recent parliamentary elections in Morocco have led to the creation of the first ever elected Islamist government in Morocco’s history. After winning more than forty percent of the votes in the November 25th elections, the Party of Justice and Development (PJD) led by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane formed a coalition government with the socialist Parti du Progrès et du Socialisme (PPS), the nationalist Istiqlal party and the royalist Mouvement Populaire (MP). Benkirane’s first task as Prime Minister was to form the government by appointing ministers. After much speculation and many rumors in the press and social media, Benkirane finally introduced his cabinet on January 3, 2012 at the royal palace in Rabat where he was summoned by King Mohammed VI. The newly formed government is surprising in some respects but predictable in others. It includes controversial PJD members like Mustapha Ramid, an outspoken activist and critic who was appointed Minister of Justice despite rumors in the press that he was blacklisted by the palace. A polygamous man and the father of six children, Ramid has spoken out against limitations on freedom of the press and has argued in favor of limiting the powers of the king. A lawyer by training, he has expressed his support for the February 20th youth movement, has represented Salafi political prisoners as well as journalists like Rachid Nini, the editor of Almassae newspaper who was sentenced to one year in jail for criticizing the unfair trials of Islamists. However, the government of Benkirane, which had to be approved by the king, also includes the usual technocrats and palace loyalists who will ensure that the new government does not deviate much from the palace line or challenge the interests of the country’s elites.

اخبار الاردن - قال مجلس الشورى السعودي الاثنين انه يجب السماح للنساء بالتصويت والترشح في الانتخابات البلدية في المستقبل.

وأعلنت السلطات السعودية في مارس اذار ان نصف المقاعد في المجالس البلدية ستكون في المستقبل بالانتخاب فيما يمثل خطوة كبيرة في المملكة.

Saudi Arabia's consultative Shura council has recommended allowing women to vote in the next local polls, in at least four years, without being permitted to run for office, a member said Tuesday. Saudi men in the ultra-conservative kingdom will vote in September to elect half the members of municipal councils across the country, but Saudi women who are deprived of many basic rights, remain banned from voting.