Libya: New women politicians seize chance in vote

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Libya: New women politicians seize chance in vote

 

Women candidates sing the national anthem before taking a group photo at a conference to empower women voters and politicians in Tripoli June 25, 2012. REUTERS/Anis Mili

Photo credit: Reuters/Anis Mili

Yet while election rules mean that Fallah and other female candidates have guaranteed places on party lists, a strong current of social and religious conservatism means their role in politics is still questioned by many Libyans.

In both Tripoli and Benghazi, the second city that was the launch pad of the uprising, the faces of female candidates on dozens of posters have even been slashed or spray-painted out.

"The women I work with tell me they wouldn't vote for a woman, that a man will lead better," said Fatima Gleidan, a 47-year-old woman and teacher who came to hear Fallah campaign.

Attitudes like that suggest Libya may emulate other "Arab Spring" countries, where women who marched side-by-side with men to oust entrenched dictators have since been sidelined.

 

Read the complete story at Reuters, published 6 July 2012.

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