Sat, Dec 04, 2010
BEIRUT: Some 60 speakers addressed a forum this week on women’s issues, with a female quota for parliamentary representation generating most of the buzz.
Among the 58 speakers who spoke at the New Arab Woman Forum was Al-Hayat journalist Raghida Dergham, who said that while she supported the principle of competence, the lack of women in decision-making posts meant it was time to “think about the quota system for a period of time, to reform this imbalance.”
Bahraini municipal official Fatima bin Salman said her country lacked a quota, which represented “discrimination,” but that Bahraini civil associations were advocating that it be introduced.
A Friday session saw a Syrian television director note that not all women take advantage of sex to be the dominant partner in the home. “This is relative, and differs from one woman to another,” said Rasha Sharbatji. “Sex is a human relationship that is dominated by emotions.”
Sharbatji, whose latest Ramadan dramatic TV series tackled gender relations, said a person should “not be tough, and should use intelligence” in dealing with traditions he or she wishes to change “so the other side will accept this change.”
During a session Thursday, EU MP Rachida Dati cited a UN report about the potential benefits of women in the workplace. “If all obstacles facing women are removed then businesses will grow by 25 percent,” she said. Dati also touched on her time as France’s justice minister, saying her stewardship saw the percentage of female judges jump from two to 25 percent when she left office. – The Daily Star