Islamists Voted in in Morocco…

…and the women promptly vanish from the government:

The recent parliamentary elections in Morocco have led to the creation of the first ever elected Islamist government in Morocco’s history…[T]he new government only includes one woman minister in a cabinet of thirty. This is a sharp drop compared to the recent past, when governments formed by other parties had between two and seven women ministers. An official picture released on January third puts this discrepancy on full display.

About the one woman minister and her role in the government:

An active member of the PJD, former parliamentarian and president of the organization of PJD women, el-Hakkawi is the only woman appointed to the new government. Dressed in a long black manteaux and a colorful headscarf, with touches of turquoise that liven up the monotone suits of the male ministers, her gaze seems serious and solemn. While none of us can know for sure what she was thinking or feeling at that moment, she appears burdened by the weight and implications of her position. She is, after all, the first Islamist and veiled woman to be appointed minister and the only woman in the new government.

As the new Minister of Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development, el-Hakkawi inherits a historically weak ministry endowed with a small budget, limited political clout and the impossible task of providing welfare for children, women, the elderly, the disabled and the poor. This is a ministry that definitely stands at the bottom of the government and political food chain. In the outgoing government, it was headed by Nouzha Skalli, a longtime leftist feminist from the socialist PPS. While this position has historically been assigned to women, under the socialist government of El-Youssoufi (1998-2002), it was given to a man (Said Saadi from the PPS).

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