Bahraini women in Council of Representatives: From 8 candidates in 2002 to 8 winners in 2022

Manama, Nov. 21 (BNA): Bahraini women have made history again and demonstrated that they are capable of making change and achieving progress.


In 2002, only eight women braved obstacles and ran in the parliamentary elections, the first since the launch of the constitutional reforms that gave them the right to contest in the national polls.


None of them was able to carry her constituency, but their bravery and sense of fight were a breakthrough that paved the way for Bahraini women to believe in their political potential and power.


They had the full active support of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, the President of the Supreme Council for Women, the official body tasked with elevating the status of Bahraini women and fulfilling their political, economic and social potential.


HRH Princess Sabeeka led an intensive campaign across the Kingdom to motivate women to exercise their constitutional rights and elect the candidates they see fit to represent them and speak on their behalf.


Four years later, at the 2006 elections, a Bahraini woman, lateefa Al Gaood, made history by becoming the first woman in the Gulf to enter the parliament. It was a landmark in the progress of women towards the parliament.


In 2010, Lateefa Al Gaood was elected to the Council of Representatives after she won the seat in her constituency.


However, in the by-elections that followed in 2011, three woman succeeded in boosting the number of women in the Council to four.

In 2014, three woman were able to convince their constituents that they were the best candidates to represent them.


In the next elections, in 2018, women doubled the figure since six were elected to the chamber of the bicameral parliament.


The result generated greater enthusiasm and optimism, prompting more women to sign up as candidates.


Early on Sunday November 20, the announcement that eight women had won seats was welcomed by elation and cheers that resonated throughout Bahrain and beyond.


The 2016 record of the number of women in the Council of Representatives was shattered by the determination of women to run and win and by the support of the voters who have come a long way since 2002 when eight was the number of women who registered their names as candidates.


While it was a great victory for the eight candidates and their supporters, it was a triumph for Bahrain and its values.


Despite repeated calls to introduce a quota system to assist women win seats, Bahrain has insisted that the greatly cherished value of merit will not be compromised regardless of the importance of the intention and the significance of the goals.


The latest achievement by the women of Bahrain has demonstrated the relevance of such an approach.


Shortly after the announcement of the results, HRH Princess Sabeeka expressed pride in the latest achievement by Bahraini women, lauded their determination and congratulated the winners.


"It is a proud moment in the successive achievements of women in Bahrain," HRH Princess Sabeeka said.




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