Jordan’s male MPs indulge in ridiculous fistfight over proposal to add "women" to the Constitution, and other stories
#WomenLead (Issue 81): Your weekly round-up on women in politics
Hello, and welcome to Issue 81!
Welcome to the first edition of 2022, and a very happy new year. We hope you all are keeping safe and warm amid the current infectious wave of covid-19 (we really really hope this is the last one).
We begin the new year with updates from Canada, the Netherlands, and Sierra Leone, and a spotlight on Jordan, and a lot of interesting and insightful reading recommendations. Here’s hoping that 2022 will give us more reasons to write cheerful and hopeful editions, and fewer moments that leave us exasperated and frustrated.
In case you missed our end-of-the-year wrap for 2021, you can read it here. (Do read, it’s our most favourite edition to write every year 😊).
👏 LEADING EQUALLY: First up, an encouraging update. The Netherlands has become the latest member of a small league of nations with gender parity in their cabinets. The country has finally got a government after a long stalemate - and half of the 20 Cabinet ministers are women, a first in Dutch history. They include Sigrid Kaag who will become the first woman to head the Finance Ministry in the country’s history.
✅ REFORM PUSH: Sierra Leone is all set to amend its constitution, paving the way for significant changes in the way the West African nation is governed. Among the changes is a provision to introduce quotas to boost representation of women. Only 12 percent of MPs in the country currently are women. With the new changes, parties will have to put forth at least 30 percent women candidates, a move that seems to have popular support as well.
🥀 REST IN POWER: We pay our tributes to two trailblazer women who have passed away in recent days. Veteran Canadian politician Alexa McDonough, who in 1980 became the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada when she became the leader of the Nova Scotia NDP, passed away at the age of 77 on January 15. Agnes Labor, who in 1978 became the first woman elected as MP in Sierra Leone, passed away in December 2021 at the age of 96.