In Bahrain, women are making progress.

According to this article, women were first members of parliament there six years ago, by royal appointment. In the local elections four years ago, the first in which women were allowed to stand as candidates, no women were elected. Last year, a woman (admittedly by default) briefly chaired a parliamentary session.

In June of this year, the first woman judge (see also here) was appointed in Bahrain, Mona Al Kawari.

And this week, Lateefa al-Geood won a seat in parliament by right of election. She was unopposed, and so her victory was by default, and at least one commentator says that this was orchestrated by the government to appease Bahraini feminists, and in particular the other women candidates who failed to win their seats. Nevertheless, it is an important first step.

The women of Kuwait who were able to vote and stand in elections for the first time back in June but who did not win any seats first time may be just behind.

In other news, a young woman who escaped from Sierra Leone where she faced FGM has recently won her appeal to the House of Lords regarding her asylum claim. She had to go all the way to the House of Lords, the highest court in the land, to establish that the threat of FGM put her in a group entitled to asylum. I will be looking at this in more detail when I’ve had the chance to read more about it…

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