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A lone woman in the new Iraqi parliament

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The new Iraqi government, which received a vote of confidence on Tuesday, is almost exclusively male, with the exception of one woman.

Minister of State Bushra Hussein Saleh, from the Islamic Virtue Party (Al-Fadhila), is the only female member of the cabinet, while there were four women in the previous government.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pointed to the lack of women as a reason for his delay in appointing candidates for 10 remaining cabinet posts.

‘I find myself obliged to wait for the political entities to present women candidates,’ he said.

Kurdish MP Ala Talabani railed against the dearth of female ministers.

‘We congratulate the government, whose birth required eight months, but at the same time we are very depressed when we see the number of women chosen to head the ministries,’ she said, ‘today, democracy was decapitated by sexism.’

‘The absence of women is a mark of disdain and is contrary to several articles of the constitution. I suggest to Mr Maliki to even choose a man for the ministry of women’s rights, as you do not have confidence in women.’

The new constitution stipulates that a quarter of the members of parliament be women and prohibits gender discrimination.

You can read the full story in Eurasia Review.

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