Women win in Jordanian cabinet

Jordanian prime minister designate Faisal al-Fayiz has formed a new government, with a record number of women getting portfolios.

    King Abd Allah (L) will swear in the cabinet of al-Fayiz (R)

    The ministers, who were to be sworn in before King Abd Allah II, held an informal meeting on Friday in the southern resort of Aqaba to discuss with al-Fayiz the policies of their new government.
     
    The meeting was described by one official as a "test of harmony".

    "All the candidates who have been chosen will become cabinet ministers once they are sworn in before the king on Saturday evening in Amman," the official added.

    Al-Fayiz's government is the third cabinet to emerge in Jordan since King Abd Allah succeeded his father King Husayn in February 1999.

    Among its main features is a newly-created ministry of political development, which has been handed to Muhammad Daudiyah, a former journalist who also served as ambassador to Morocco.

    And for the first time in Jordan's history three women are joining the ministerial team. Past governments have included only one woman.

    Human rights worker

    Asma Khodr, a lawyer and leading human rights activist, has been chosen as the official spokesperson of the new government with ministerial rank.

    The new government has been trimmed down to 21 members compared to 29 in the former cabinet of Ali Abu Raghib, who resigned on Wednesday after heading the government since 2000.

    Some ministries have been merged, such as the environment ministry which was created only three months earlier. It has been handed over to a woman, Alia Buran, a former ambassador to Belgium, who will also act as minister of tourism.

    The third woman, Amal Farhan, a university professor, will head the ministry of municipalities.

    SOURCE: AFP


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