Saturday, December 02
07:27 PM

Women’s representation in shura, municipal polls poor


Muscat – Omanis are taking major strides towards gender equality with women on a par with men in obtaining college degrees, securing jobs in high positions and social status. Much has changed in social life compared to just a decade ago.

Omani women have been at the forefront of nation building for 50 years of the Blessed Renaissance. Their eagerness to see Oman grow and prosper in various fields has been vital in the development of the sultanate. Today, it is common to see women’s participation in every field.

However, the recent elections for Municipal Councils produced abysmal results for women. Only one woman was elected.

In every Majlis A’Shura and Municipal Council election, men far outnumber the women elected. What can be done to increase the number of women elected? Here is what Muscat Daily readers said on the matter:

Dulcy Pascal

I believe the solution is very simple indeed: Women empowerment. Also, if women vote for women, the problem will be partially solved, because there is a saying that the main enemy of a woman is a woman.

Jay Prakash
Private sector employee

The recent Municipal polls held in the sultanate were overwhelmingly in favour of men. This is due to the negligible participation of women in the municipal elections. And the results were repressive for women as only one single candidate won. To support women, we have to reserve seats for them and give them more opportunities. Secondly, the women of Oman are focused on only a few areas – like SMEs, sports, the private sector, science and technology, education, environment and humanities. Thirdly, they are witness to the plight of women in many Asian countries where women are elected but they are just like rubberstamps and not given the opportunity to work for improvement.

Ruskeen S
Private sector employee

Unequal representation of women is a worldwide phenomenon. Oman is no exception. Encouragement from families and communities along with reservation of a particular percentage of seats for women will help them come up against the odds.

Kiran Choudhury

The number of women elected to the Majlis A’Shura and Municipal Councils can be increased by making women of villages and cities aware of their role in the betterment of society. Women at the grass root level should be encouraged and every head of the family and social worker should play a pivotal role in women’s empowerment

Asma al Balushi
Private sector employee

The main reason for the poor representation is women are not encouraged in senior decision-making jobs. The mindset of society needs to change and people must accept that women can be competent and be equally good leaders as men.

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