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Fighting chance for three women

THREE women candidates still have a fighting chance to secure a seat in parliament when they compete in the second round of the by-elections on Saturday.

If successful they will boost the number of women parliamentarians to five, as they will join newly-elected Sawsan Taqawi, who represents Janusan, Karranah and Al Qadam, and long-standing MP Latifa Al Gaoud for Al Dor and Hawar.

Those left in the running include Dr Somaya Al Jowder for Central Governorate Constituency one covering Sanad, Jedali and Tubli and Ebtisam Hijris for Manama Suq, Naim, Ghufool, Central Market, Burhama and Salmaniya.

The third woman candidate is Seema Al Langawi for Northern Governorate Constituency eight which covers Saar, Buri, Hamala, Quraiya and Janabiya.

Ms Al Langawi has already heightened her campaign plan, which includes making media announcements and meeting people in her constituency.

She is confident that with her background as an engineer and regional and international speaker and consultant, she has much to offer parliament and Bahrain.

"I'm more than ready and believe I have a strong chance and will work hard to the last moment," Ms Al Langawi told the GDN.

"We've all been through something we can't ignore and I will work to bring back the economy and have peace, I am a very moderate person and we need this to bring all the people together.

"I don't belong to any political society, my agenda is my country Bahrain."

She called on everyone to participate in the elections and be smart in their decision making.

"I'm calling everyone who loves Bahrain to come and participate in voting, you want someone with a qualification that can make a difference," said Ms Al Langawi, who is competing against Mohammed Salim Buqais in round two.

"I believe people are more mature now, but sometimes they could be guided by emotions or religion, but they must look at who can make a difference to the country."

She said although she had encountered campaigns against women running for parliament, she wasn't going to let that intimidate her.

"I had some problems with people who play games against having women in parliament," she said.

"Our religion doesn't say no to women in parliament, but sometimes this is the way it is interpreted.

"We want to bring equality and add value to parliament and need to bring quality people.

"His Majesty the King did this by bringing quality women in Shura and we need to do it for parliament, we need people who will make regulations and laws and propose strategies."

Her slogan "Making a Change" includes turning Hamad Town into one of the top areas in the country.

She said for too long Hamad Town has just been a residential area, but she wants to make it into an economic and social centre.

"We have people from different backgrounds and it could be a very unique city where everyone can live in harmony," said Mr Al Langawi.

"My programme is for the whole country, men and women and youth, 45 per cent in Hamad Town are youth and we don't have a good centre for youth and I plan to have it in Hamad Town and also have a centre for older people.

"Retirement is a main concern and I will propose we have a permanent committee related to retired people because it hasn't been addressed comprehensively." rebecca@gdn.com.bh



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