Stop Fundamentalism, November 5 – A 40 year old woman, Aminah Abbas, is running to enter the
â€œAll candidates speak of combating poverty and improving living standards, but for me, Iâ€™m talking of personal experience,â€ says Abbas, mother of five and one of 18 women candidates in the kingdomâ€™s November 25 parliamentary polls.
â€œI have experienced poverty and all its hardships… I worked as a street vendor to support my family,â€ she says.
Her experience of hardship, she adds, prompted her decision to run for parliament. She insists she wants to enter the legislature â€to represent the poor.â€
â€œBusinessmen say they want (lawmakers) who represent their interests (in parliament) … I want to defend the poor,â€ says veiled Aminah, who is in her early forties.
Despite her impeccable poverty credentials, however, she will be hard-pushed to win enough votes in the conservative male-dominated kingdom — all 31 women candidates who ran in the last elections in 2002 lost.
Abbasâ€™s campaign for parliament is not her first experience with elections, having run last year for a seat on the board of
â€™s chamber of commerce.