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Syrian parliament elects first-ever female speaker

June 06, 18:04 UTC+3 CAIRO
Hadiyeh al-Abbas, 58, has a PhD in agricultural engineering, apart from that, she was also engaged in trade union activity at the National Union of Syrian Students
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS, archive

CAIRO, June 6. /TASS/. For the first time ever, a Syrian woman has been chosen as the new parliament speaker, the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA reports on Monday.

The People’s Council of the Syrian Arab Republic convened on Monday for its first session after the April 13 parliamentary election, electing Hadiyeh al-Abbas as its speaker for the first time since 1919.

Hadiyeh al-Abbas, 58, has a PhD in agricultural engineering. Apart from teaching experience, she was also engaged in trade union activity at the National Union of Syrian Students.

In 1983 she became head of the union’s section in her home province of Deir el-Zour. In 1988-1998 she was on the executive board of the regional branch of the ruling Baath Party in the same province. She was also elected as member of parliament in 2003-2007.

The Syrian women got the right to vote and run in parliamentary elections under the Constitution of 1953. In 1973-1977 there were only five female parliamentarians among 186 deputies of the People’s Council. In 2012-2016, their numbers grew to 31 among 250 parliamentarians.

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