* Women and Power
Presented by :
Nadia el Fadil
* Women’s position In The Arabic World
*Nowadays, we all notice that women’s position in the Arabic country
has greatly changed in society. Their efforts have been crowned by
getting an equal position to men in all domains. Women could not go
to school and stayed with their parents at homes. Thus they were
regarded illiterate and ignorant as well. Their jobs were looking after
their husbands, cooking daily meals and washing dishes as machines.
They were not allowed to vote and were under the authority of men.
Everything has now changed, women have become aware of the
significance of education, and so they go to school and get good
marks. More than that, they have been appointed teachers and
directresses in great schools. Because of their strong struggles, women
can share with men some political posts like working in courts as
judges or lawyers. In addition to that, women wear whatever they
love and go to cafés as men All in all, the marginalization of women in
the past led them to suffer a lot and live a difficult life.
However, women struggled to show their existence in society and have
finally got their rights as men.
Socity and The Woman
* Women have for so long been likened to slaves, created just to serve and execute
men’s orders. In some cultures, they were considered as a part of the furniture of the
house. The situation is not as acute as it used to be. However, girls in some parts of
the world are still unable to go to school because life in the countryside needs help
even from children. Thus, illiteracy is so prevailing in rural areas. It undoubtedly
affects development and prosperity. As a result, the government has launched many
campaigns aiming at fighting this problem which is an obstracle in the integration of
women in the development of the Moroccan society.
Women in all parts of the world have struggled so as to get a place in the sun. The
fruit of this hard work has been the family code. Many claim that it’s a triumph for
Moroccan women. Others, however, believe that it has complicated things and has
widened the gap between men and women.. The point is that women need moe rights
to be able to efficiently contribute to the welfare of the society. For this reason, we
witness today their emergence in political parties and organisations to raise up their
voices against gender discrimination within the same society.
* 56, oversees Europe's largest economy and is arguably the most influential
female politician in the world. The chemist from east Germany joined the
Christian Democrats, traditionally dominated by Catholic West German
men, and won a seat in the Bundestag during the first post-reunification general
election. Chancellor Helmut Kohl appointed her as a cabinet minister a year
later in December 1990, but her career changed when Kohl was mired in
scandal. She became the first former ally to publicly break with him and it
propelled her to leader of the party.
Pragmatic, hard working and an excellent negotiator – if not charismatic – she
was extremely popular for years, but after her latest coalition with the Bavariabased Christian Social Union and the liberal Free Democratic party, squabbling
and the country's economic problems have led to criticisms that she has lost her
touch. But as the head of government who has had to steel herself to kiss
Berlusconi, cope with Sarkozy's temper tantrums and Brown's sometime
grouchiness – not to mention withstand a neck rub from George Bush, she has
certainly earned her nickname as the Iron Frau.
* Even as a teenager, Christine Lagarde, now 55, was a high-achiever, winning
a place on the French synchronised swimming team. The sport seems to
mimic how she conducts business: avoiding collisions with her
counterparts, all the while looking unflappable and elegant. She rose to
head the global law firm Baker & McKenzie, before becoming France's trade
minister in 2005; under her watch, exports reached record levels. In
2007, she was the first woman appointed finance minister in a G8 country.
Never afraid to speak out, Lagarde has said she believed the 2008 global
economic crash was caused, in part, by the global banks' maledominated, aggressively testosterone-fuelled culture.
This month, Lagarde plans to shepherd through France's plans to strengthen
the eurozone at a vital summit. In a recent interview she complained that the
euro had been given "fragile foundations" by its "founding fathers": "Founding
fathers not mothers, notice. Regrettably there was no woman at the table at
the time . . . We are now working on [foundations] which are bigger, stronger."
* From veils to polygamy, Islamic feminist Fatema Mernissi
fearlessly tackles the most controversial customs in the Muslim
world. Her first book – Beyond the Veil – was a revelation and a
call to revolution. Born in Morocco in 1940, she grew up in a
domestic harem, physically trapped by the traditions of the time
alongside her grandmother, mother and female relatives, and only
escaping through education – first a traditional Qur'anic
school, and eventually as the professor of sociology at Mohammed
V University in Rabat. As she later said, "The [male] elite faction
is trying to convince us that their egotistic, highly subjective, and
mediocre view of culture and society has a sacred basis." Born in
1940, she focuses her work today on civil society, democracy and
the digital revolution.
* Being black and a woman has not stopped Oprah Winfrey becoming one of the most powerful
people in the world and her claim to influence lies on stronger foundations than her ability to get
stars such as Tom Cruise over-sharing on her couch.
The importance of an appearance on her talkshow was underlined when the then President-elect
Barack Obama was a guest – it was seen as providing a boost to his profile not hers.
She rose to become the world's first black female self-made billionaire from a childhood so poor it
sounds like a punchline for a joke – she adopted two cockroaches as pets and wore sackcloth as her
grandmother could not afford to buy her clothes.
Her willingness to talk about her years of being sexually abused, her teenage pregnancy and the loss
of her baby, her constant battle with her weight and childhood poverty have made her a hero to
millions of viewers around the world.
Her endorsements can make careers (books she mentions routinely become bestsellers) and she
doesn't always pick perfectly (Jenny McCarthy appeared on her show to explain why she thinks
vaccination caused her son's autism), but her support for gay rights, Aids awareness, sexual abuse
victims and literacy campaigns are impressive and consistent.
As is her philanthropy: she founded a school in South Africa, Oprah's Angel Network, which gives
educational grants, and personally donated $10m to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina.
At 57, she's hardly self-effacing – her latest venture is her own television channel to add to a
magazine called O, The Oprah Magazine – but few have done as much to put women, poor black
ones at that, on the international map.
*Nawal El Saadawi
* This year, at the age of 80, Nawal El Saadawi was back on the streets
with her fellow Egyptians in the protests that brought about the end of
President Mubarak's rule. The doctor, psychiatrist, feminist and
university lecturer who has published almost 50 novels, plays and short
stories first cut her teeth during the demonstrations against the British
rule of Egypt.
After undergoing female genital mutilation at the age of six, and seeing
the damage it could do during her work as a village doctor, she
campaigned against the practice – which led to her losing her job as
director general of public health.
Her writing takes on controversial issues such as prostitution, domestic
violence and religious fundamentalism. Most recently her criticism of
patriarchal religion led to an unsuccessful legal attempt to strip her of her
nationality and dissolve her marriage.
* On her election in 1979, she said: "The women of this country have never had a prime
minister who knew the things they know. And the things that we know are very
different from what men know." But it never became clear what those things were.
Thatcher froze child benefit and refused to invest in affordable childcare, instead
criticising working mothers for raising a "crèche generation". With the exception of
Baroness Young, she promoted no women to her cabinet and no women above junior
minister. She made statements such as "the battle for women's rights has largely been
won", while the UK had among the worst maternity rights in Europe. Her template for
the archetypal career woman – 18-hour working days, four hours' sleep, all while giving
the appearance of perfect wife and mother – set impossible standards that women
today are still trying to live up to.
And yet she is also an inspiration, partly for showing that the daughter of a greengrocer
could progress through education, determination and hard work. After becoming a
chemist, paid less than her male colleagues, she studied part-time to become a
lawyer, while looking after twins. She doggedly convinced the Conservative selection
panel to let her stand as an MP, and quickly rose through the ranks, fighting a bloody
battle to become leader in 1975.
Having a woman in the most important job in the country for the first time changed the
cultural idea of what was possible for women. Thatcher was ambitious, tough and
uncompromising, qualities rarely associated with, or admired in, women before her. She
may not have done much for the careers of individual women, but she didShe changed
the way female politicians were thought of – her decisions, such as waging war on the
unions, or in the Falklands, may have been ruthless, but nobody now questions whether
women politicians can be strong.
* From fielding questions about what designer clothes she wears (her reply: "Would you ever ask a
man that question?") to supporting victims of rape in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Hillary Clinton, 63, has always been outspoken about her feminism. Her early years may
have seen her canvassing for Republican politicians (from the tender age of 13) and hoping to
become an astronaut. But once at University, the death of Martin Luther King and the Vietnam
war turned her into a Democrat and her rebuke of a Republican senator in her graduation
speech won her notice in Life magazine as a voice for her generation.
She apparently joined Yale law school after feeling insulted by a professor at Harvard who told her
they didn't need more women. There she met Bill Clinton , in the library, marching up to him and
announcing, "If you're going to keep staring at me, I might as well introduce myself." While her
husband was governor of Arkansas she became the first female partner at her law firm and was
appointed to the board of the Legal Services Corporation (which provides free legal assistance), by
President Carter. Her critics complained that whilst her husband was in power she had too much
influence over public policy - during a campaign speech he had said voters would get "Two for the
price of one," if he was voted in. She refused to be broken by the scandal over her husband's
affairs and his subsequent impeachment, instead running for Senate.
Now secretary of state, she has outlasted her critics to become more popular than ever. And
despite her support of the Iraq war and the failure to get her healthcare legislation through (since
remedied by Obama), she works tirelessly for women across the globe, saying that women's rights
are "the signature issue" for this administration's foreign policy. She has pressed the subject of the
gender imbalance in China, sexual violence as a weapon of war, and even the importance of safe
cooking stoves – which other politicians have ignored or downplayed.
And according to a reader: "She has refused to be overshadowed by her husband, maintaining a
highly active political career while he was in the White House. Her own political achievements
have been outstanding, and as a representative of New York State and now as secretary of state
she is an inspiration to women throughout the world."
* 63.is the eleventh and current President of South Korea. She is
the first woman to be elected as President in South Korea, and is
serving the 18th presidential term. She also is the first woman
head of state in modern history of Northeast Asia. Prior to her
presidency, she was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand
National Party (GNP) between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011
and 2012 (the GNP changed its name to "Saenuri Party" in
February 2012). Park was also a member of the Korean National
Assembly, and had served four consecutive parliamentary terms as
a constituency representative between 1998 and 2012; starting
her fifth term as a proportional representative from June 2012.