عنوان مقاله [English]
The presence of women in the field of socio - political activities in Arab countries has always been one of the most controversial issues in those communities due to the views of the governments and the positions of some political and religious currents. Bahrain, meanwhile, after the death of Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in 1999 and the succession of his son Sheikh Hamad bin Isa, presented and approved a plan called the "Charter of National Action" to change the system of government from emirate to monarchy and to implement some political reforms and social issues such as amendment of the 1972 constitution, holding elections, reopening the House of Representatives, and granting the suffrage and candidacy to women in council and parliamentary elections.
Since among the most important goals of the Charter were to open the political space, spread democracy, increase people's participation and specially give women the right to vote, some claim that the role and socio-political position of Bahraini women has been improved. Opponents of the regime, however, argue that changes such as women's suffrage, the formation of civic institutions, and the presence of women in government cabinets and parliamentary elections are not desirable criteria for assessing political and social participation. The authors of this article, without having a biased view of any of these views, seek to address the issue by referring directly to Bahraini society and citing statistics, figures and evidence.
The research method in this study is descriptive-analytical. Data collection is based on the library method, which examines the socio-political activities of Bahraini women, especially their presence in associations and unions and their participation in the electoral campaigns from 2002 to 2018. The required information and data are collected and reviewed and analyzed.
The findings show that despite the specific norms and customs of Arab societies, and the traditional political structure of Bahraini government with its repressive approach to the political opposition, especially in the political protests and demonstrations of February 14, 2011, the presence of women in Important political and social positions has grown significantly in recent decades. Increase in women's associations, unions and non-governmental organizations, as well as increase in their presence in high political positions such as ministry, embassy and parliament, shows the positive effects of the 2002 political reforms on Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in promoting the political position of Bahraini women. At present, the characteristics of women entering the field of social activities have grown significantly. The increase in study and university education opportunities for women has led to women's motivation and self-confidence to enter the political arena. Although it is not currently possible for Bahraini women to hold high governmental positions such as Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, Minister of Defense, etc., the available evidence suggests that in recent years the attitude of the government towards their position and role in Political issues has changed significantly. The selection of a woman as the Speaker of the Consultative Assembly by the deputies, along with the numerous appointments of women as ambassadors, ministers and government officials, confirms the changes occurring in the government's view of women compared to other Arab countries. But, the discrimination against Shiite women is an important point. Indeed, despite advances in women's legislation, there is still an inequality observed in employment opportunities and management positions by Shiite women.