November 25, 2006


Female hopefuls counter traditional roles (Habib Toumi, 11/25/06, Gulf News)

They are smart, ambitious and highly educated. They also have a growing sense about the role of literate women in confronting traditions and working on par with men to create a more positive reality for them.

They are women whose exceptional fortitude has brought vociferous female voices to male-dominated campaigns in the last five weeks.

Dr Jameela Al Sammak did it with extraordinary panache. In fact, she took the battle to a public ground and did not hesitate to tell the people about the relentless onslaught on her and on her team.

"When I announced my decision to run in the polls, I was subjected to tremendous pressure to withdraw my candidature for the sake of another candidate. I was told that by running in the elections, I was dispersing the votes in the constituency which, they claimed, was theirs," she said.

Jameela said that her critics should have understood that imposing choices on people was not condoned by religion Jameela insisted that her "crime" was that she was not a member of a large society.

"I have never opposed religious scholars. But when for instance they say that Al Wefaq is the Bloc of the Believers, does that make me an atheist?" she wondered.

"You are mentally retarded for opposing women's political rights," blurted a woman inside the overcrowded tent as she addressed one of Bahrain's best known preachers and newspaper columnists.

It takes exceptional audacity and daring nerve to utter such an accusation in the overcrowded tent of the candidate. Huda Al Mutawa has both and much more.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2006 10:18 AM
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