Gender and Politics in the media

Frau Merkel and the German Women’s Vote. NZ: No man-ban, but something else: candidates.

Frau Merkel and the German Women’s Vote Wall Street Journal Germany’s first female chancellor has an unimpressive record on promoting gender equality, yet polls indicate female voters still support Angela Merkel.

“On important issues, I can be as tough as men,” Angela Merkel said in March 2000, shortly before her surprise election as head of the Christian Democratic Union – the position that catapulted her to power in 2005. “The most important thing is to keep your nerve.”

In the years since, Ms. Merkel’s nerve has steered Europe’s largest economy through both financial and euro crises — outmaneuvering her political rivals and solidifying her popularity. Her low-key image, sometimes described as maternal, has appealed to many, but Ms. Merkel has never campaigned on her gender nor publicly styled herself as a feminist.

No man-ban, but something else: candidates MSN NZ News …Mr Robertson made the promise at the first of 12 party meetings around the country, where he, David Cunliffe and Shane Jones are lobbying to take over the Labour leadership, after David Shearer announced his resignation earlier this month.

Mr Robertson gave no detail in his speech of how he planned to achieve a perfect gender split in caucus following the election, leading to speculation he would bring back the man-ban idea, which would see Labour have women-only electorates to boost equality.

The idea was scrapped by Labour’s national council after pushback by Mr Shearer and other caucus members, following ridicule over the proposal. Mr Robertson says that’s not what he was intending in his speech. “There’s lots of different ways of getting more women into politics,” he told media, dubbing the man-ban “a distraction”.

Cunliffe, Robertson promise 50/50 male/female caucus 3News NZ Labour’s failed man ban is back, but in disguise. Grant Robertson is promising 50 percent women in the Labour caucus by the next election.

It will likely mean ramping up the existing quota system, which could see men pushed off winnable positions on the party list. Mr Robertson wants equality. He wants to start it now, promising that under his watch, 50 percent of Labour MPs will be women by 2014. But could that mean men are booted out?

“It may well do,” says David Cunliffe. “It’s going to be more realistic. I think 2014’s pretty aggressive.”

Pakistani women yearn for greater enfranchisement The Daily Star Despite threats from militant extremist groups, the number of women campaigning for seats in the national and provincial assemblies during May’s elections soared to more than 450. This is up from approximately 200 in 2008, when the last general elections were held.

Moreover, women from increasingly diverse backgrounds are choosing to enter electoral races. For example, 53-year-old Badam Zari, a housewife from Bajaur Agency, made history by becoming the first female candidate to run for office from the tribal region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Kosovo’s Path to Gender Equality Diplomatic Courier At the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Director of the Center’s Women in Public Service Project Dr. Rangita de Silva de Alwis welcomed four female delegates from Kosovo to discuss the changing role and impact of women at the helm of lawmaking in their country. Panelists included Senior Legal Officer at Kosovo’s Ministry of Justice Venera Kabashi; Council Member for the Capital Municipality of Prishtina Meliza Haradinaj; UN Populations Fund Project Coordinator Linda Abazi-Morina; and Chief of Cabinet for Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister as well as Minister of Local Government Administration Blerta Miftari.

Kosovo does have an impressive track record of advancing women to positions at the leading edge of domestic and international policy initiatives. President Atifete Jahjaga was elected in April 2011 by members of the Parliament as Kosovo’s first female, and the youngest ever, Head of State. Jahjaga previously served as Deputy Director of the Kosovo Police, holding rank as Major General. She finds herself among only a handful of female leaders at comparable levels of decision-making power in the region. Kosovo’s President symbolizes what panelist Venera Kabashi called a “mentality change” in their society that “countries in transition” are in need of, and which Kosovo so far seems to be modeling quite well.

Getting to Equal Foreign Policy (Subscription) While Norway regularly ranks highly on measures of gender equality, Kay Hymowitz argues that, in fact, many challenges remain for working women there…

Constituent Assembly’s female representation shows poor quantity, good quality: women’s rights activists Daily News Egypt … Prominent columnist and journalist Farida El Shoubashy said that the number of seats allocated for female members is not sufficient, but the five members chosen are “heavy-weight.” She asserted that while this female representation does not necessarily mean real progress, “it is better than how women were treated under Muslim Brotherhood rule.”

Mona Mounir Rizk, women’s committee head at the Free Egyptians Party and the founder of the Arab Woman Front, was unimpressed by the number of women represent, but said the members chosen are “great.”

However, she added that overall, the representation is a step backward, as multiple spectra of women are not represented. Rizk asserted that choosing two male members from Tamarod was “not the right decision,” saying it should have been split male female. Rizk said she had hoped that women such as Tahany El Gebaly, former Supreme Constitutional Court vice-president and Nehad Aboul Komsan, head of Motherhood and Childhood council, would be in the formation of the assembly.

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