Oman upper house gets another woman

An Omani politician has struck a blow for female power after becoming the eighth woman to take a seat in Oman's upper house.

    A woman casts her vote in Muscat last month

    Sultan Qabuus named another woman to the council of state in Oman's appointed upper house, local media reported on Sunday.

    The appointment of Fawzia bint Nasir al-Farsiyah follows the initial failure of women to increase their share in the Majlis al-Shura, which was elected on 4 October in the first polls open to all citizens of the conservative Gulf sultanate. She will fill the post of education ministry undersecretary.

    Farsiyah, one of five ministry undersecretaries, was replaced by Muna bint Salim al-Jardaniyah, another prominent woman.

    Women barely managed to hold on to two seats in the 83-member advisory council in the 4th of October polls.

    Omanis went to the polls to choose the advisory council, in the first ballot open to all citizens of the conservative Gulf sultanate.

    A total of 506 candidates - 15 of them women - competed for seats on the Majlis al-Shura, which advises the government on economic and social issues but has no say in defence internal security or foreign policy 

    Qaboos has expanded the state council's membership to 57. The terms of both the council and the Majlis ash-Shura have been extended from three years to four.

    The monarch also promoted Brigadier Khalifa bin Abdullah al-Junaibi to the rank of major general and appointed him commander of the Royal Guard of Oman, succeeding Hamoud bin Humaid bin Mohammad al-Badi, who was appointed to the state council.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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