Thursday, December 30, 2010

Women MPs push for greater involvement in govt

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Sulaimaniyah, Dec. 30 (AKnews) – Iraqi women continue to press on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and their blocs to secure a quarter of the government posts.
Lana hafiz, Lana Mohammed
Women MPs in the Iraqi parliament have collected some 100,000 signatures to support their cause.

The campaign followed the announcement of the new cabinet by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki where in a total of 33 announced ministries only one had been allocated for a woman MP.

Mr Maliki passed the buck onto the political blocs for not submitting to him names of women candidates. He said he would not announce the remaining ministries because he wanted the blocs to put forward women candidates for the posts.

The campaign to collect signatures from government officials, former and current MPs, NGOs and the different slates of the society is to force the Iraqi political blocs who still have share in the nine remaining ministries to nominate women.

"So far, no other positions have been assigned to women and the issue has not been resolved therefore we continue in our effort" Kurdish MP Lana Mohammed told AKnews, "After the next parliamentary meeting the total number of signatures to support women to receive 25%  of the positions will be announced in a press conference"

Iraqi parliament is expected to convene after the New Year day holiday. Iraq's constitution states that 25% of the government positions have top be given to women.

"What we have heard from the women MPS of the other blocs like the al-Iraqiya and the State of Law (Maliki's bloc) indicate that no significant ministerial portfolios have been allocated for women," Mohammed said.

She said a delegation of women is expected to meet with President Jalal Talabani and PM Nuri al-Maliki for the purpose.

Viand Dakhil, candidate of the Kurds to the Ministry of Women Affairs rejected the post in support of women demands to receive a quarter of the posts.

The only woman candidate now for a state ministry post in Maliki's government, Bushra Muhsen, said she did not want to withdraw from the cabinet only because she had seen equality in his Fadhila Party which has two ministerial portfolios; one man and one woman.

Mohsen's position is not a public services ministry and is not considered to be one of the ministerial portfolios.

Ala Talabani, another Kurdish woman MP says the women are also expected to meet UN officials to win their support in an attempt to gather pressure on the new government.

Reported by Dilshad Saifaddin, edited by Raber Y. Aziz

Thursday, December 30th 2010 12:25 PM