The advisor of the Mauritanian president issued a fatwa (a religious edict) banning women from becoming president, Al-Arabiya has reported. The fatwa stipulates that women can still run for presidency and campaign but can never actually win the elections.
“Women can run for the presidency as long as they have no chance of winning. They can just do that for fun,” said Islamic scholar and presidential advisor Aslamo Ould Sidi al-Mustafa.
The Association of Female Heads of Families, one of Mauritania’s most prominent women’s rights organizations voiced its fury saying that the fatwa was a violation of women’s rights as well as of Mauritanian laws. “The fatwa is also very contradictory for it gives women the right to run but not the right to win,” Al-Arabiya quoted the statement issued by the association.
The fatwa suggests that election results would have to be manipulated in case a woman received enough votes to be elected.
“Women are now deprived of occupying several important state positions due to the pressure exercised by a group of anti-women officials in decision-making institutions,” the statement continued.