Deputy Chair of the foreign affairs committee in the Egyptian parliament Sahar Al Bazar praised Bahrain’s commitment to empowering women to reach political leadership positions, which she said, makes the international community applaud Bahrain.
"There is a lot of progress and empowerment of women in Bahrain, and this is something that we all see and praise. As Arabs we’re very proud and happy to see this is happening," she said.
Bahraini women have often been praised around the globe for reaching new milestones in parliamentary representation and the context for women’s political leadership is continuing to expand.
In the 2022 elections, a record of eight Bahraini women reached the Council of Representatives, and some of them were first-time lawmakers.
In the quadrennial elections for the 40-member Council of Representatives, out of 330 candidates, 73 were women, compared with the 41 women who ran in the 2018 elections.
Such achievements are often attributed to the great responsibility undertaken by Bahrain in providing equal rights to women and ensured they are represented in all institutions, including the bicameral parliament with its Council of Representatives and Shura Council.
Bahraini women are deservedly recognized as key players in the Kingdom’s development process, and their contributions span the full spectrum of public life, politics, social development, business, and more.
In her statement to Bahrain News Agency (BNA), Al Bazar expressed concerns over the obstacles that women might face in the parliamentary field.
"Women might face obstacles in the elections because some men would prefer voting for other men due to the mistrust in the capabilities of women."
She pointed out to the family role in supporting women to be a part of any democratic progress globally and deplored that in some cultures, families see the women’s job is to take care of the children.
"We as parliamentarians should try and have an inclusive and gender-sensitive parliament where you can see daycare where women MP can perform her duties instead of staying at home to take care of them," Al Bazar said.
Belgian Senate President Stephanie D'Hose said that in her country, laws are the same for men and women.
"We have reached equality at the law level, but on the moral level, we still have so much work to do because I'm the youngest president of the parliaments ever, and I often happen to see that people do not trust me," D’Hose said.
She stressed the importance of talking about equal rights for women in international forums to persuade young men that women have the same status in society.
"When I attend a conference, and my collaborator, who is an older man, accompanies me, they think he is the president. So, the one thing we can do in Belgium is to give examples, good examples of our power as women."