Why women could not make to it?

It is widely said that women are enemies of themselves. This is proved true in the case of Omani women. This is the much-talked-about topic during the recently concluded Majlis Ash’shura elections. This has happened despite the fact that women were given full rights to fight elections and reach wherever they want. They are equal to men in terms
of their ratio in population of the Sultanate of Oman.
In spite of that, only two women candidates could win in the Majlis elections. The previous term had only one woman in the council. This is a clear indication that there is a problem somewhere. Perhaps, Omani women are still tied up with their internal restrictions. This is the reason why they are not registering themselves in forums where political participation is required. Either it is the elections of Majlis Ash’shura, Municipal Councils or professional and voluntary associations and organisations. Every where they have handed over their flag to men.
This is a matter which requires serious discussion and study. Despite enjoying equal rights, why women are still marginalised? The open space they were given in the country is unable to bring them to the centrestage. With the kind of freedom and rights they have here in Oman, they should have ideally occupied half of the total Majlis seats.
There is no doubt that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos has given extraordinary importance to women’s equality in all spheres of public life. He always stood for the rights of women every where including politics. There are no restrictions on women if they aspire to represent the country in the elected bodies. It is unfortunate that in spite of this support, they did not do what they could have done in view of the opportunities available for them. This is a very important aspect which must be studied. This is the responsibility of the society to look within. This is not the duty of the government to try to find out what blocked their way to the elected bodies in the country.
This ratio of women in Majlis Ash’shura must be discussed within the associations which are taking care of women and their development. They must look at the reasons why women are lagging behind in elections.
Lack of strong presence of women in legislative and municipal councils and other civil society organisations would adversely affect their interests.
In a political platform where women are required to prove, if they are not represented adequately, this will have serious consequences on their development and upliftment. When Shura process has become a way of life in the Sultanate, thanks to the vision of His Majesty the Sultan, the opportunity should be grabbed by women.
Many have started talking about the performance of women in the recent elections and are giving idea of quota system as one of the solutions to empower them. But such solutions are not natural. This is an artificial method to empower women. It may not give desired results. Women must prepare themselves to take up the challenges, come forward and occupy the centrestage in elected bodies. They should not ignore this as this gives them a golden opportunity, and they should grab it.
There is no denying that whatever Omani women have achieved has tried to break the patriarchy of the society. However, women need to work more in this direction. Women should discuss this in their associations and look at how they can get benefit of the
political opportunities given to them by the country.