Major Events on the path to liberation
Created by voaweb on Mar 1, 2011
Last updated: 03/18/11 at 12:02 AM
Tags: middle east women rights
In 2010, Syria banned face veils (Niqab) at universities.
-Three women won seats in parliamentary elections for the first time in Kuwait. -The country's Constitutional court ruled women could obtain passports without their husbands’ consent.
Al-Azhar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam, banned the wearing of face veils (Niqab) in schools and dormitories of all of its affiliate schools and educational institutions.
Kuwait’s parliament approved a law in May allowing women to vote and ran for parliament. In June, the first woman minister, Massouma al-Mubarak was appointed.
Bahrain became a constitutional monarchy in February and allowed women to stand for office. When municipal elections were held in May, women voted and stood for office for the first time, although they failed to win seats.
Saudi Arabia began issuing identity cards to female citizens for the first time. Traditionally, women were not allowed to hold separate cards and were registered on their father's or husband's ID card.
- Four women were appointed for the first time to Bahrain’s Consultative Council. - Two Omani women were elected to Sultan Qaboos’s non-governmental advisory council. - Haifa al-Baker became Qatar’s first woman lawyer.
Governor of Sudan’s Capital, Khartoum, barred women from working in public places.
President Hosni Mubarak granted women equal divorce rights.
Qatar became the first Gulf country to allow women to vote in municipal elections.
Twenty Saudi women attended a session of the Consultative Council for the first time.
Qatar became the first Gulf nation to allow women to compete in athletic tournaments. Nada Zeidan became the country’s first woman to take part in regional rallying in 2004.
Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University accepted women as full-time students for the first time.
Feminist author Nawal el Saadawi was dismissed from Egypt’s Ministry of Health for publishing her book Women and Sex. She founded the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association, the first legal, independent feminist organization in Egypt.
Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel, becoming the world’s second female head of government.
Egyptian women gained equal voting rights. When the 2000 parliamentary elections were held, 444 seats were up for grabs, but another 10 seats were appointed by President Hosni Mubarak, to compensate for lack of representation of Coptic Christians and women.
Lebanese women gained the right to vote, years ahead of women in Switzerland. But only 17 women have served in Lebanon's Parliament since suffrage, according to Human Rights Watch.
Syria granted women limited rights to vote and run for election.
Activists Huda Shaarawi, Ceza Nabarawi, and Nabawiya Moussa returned to Egypt from a feminist conference in Italy and defiantly removed their veils at Cairo’s train station and demanded equality for women.
Iraqi’s Aswa Zahawi founded the Women’s Rising Group, which promoted education and employment rights for women.
Nabawiya Moussa became the first Egyptian girl to graduate from high school and, in later years, a pioneer in women’s education. Twenty-one years passed before another Egyptian girl followed suit.
Egyptian lawyer Qasim Amin’s controversial book The Liberation of Women sparked debate with the argument that women’s emancipation was necessary for Egypt to free itself from foreign domination.