Be­hind ev­ery can­di­date, a sin­cere, hard­work­ing wife push­ing ahead

An in­flu­en­tial char­ac­ter who leads a spe­cial­ized team

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

A po­lit­i­cal can­di­date’s wife is the ma­jor sup­porter and ad­vo­cate of her hus­band. Be­ing the clos­est per­son to a nom­i­nee, a wife is most valu­able in an elec­tion cam­paign. Wives of the can­di­dates stand­ing for the up­com­ing Na­tional As­sem­bly (par­lia­ment) elec­tions due in less than a week’s time are no ex­cep­tion; many of them are throw­ing their weight be­hind their spouses, each hop­ing for a par­lia­ment seat for her hus­band.

Sev­eral wives have been tak­ing care of hus­bands’ elec­tion cam­paigns, a hard task, a chal­lenge, that re­quires an in­flu­en­tial char­ac­ter, to select and lead a spe­cial­ized team. Most of them mainly de­pend on so­cial re­la­tions, which have proved so ef­fec­tive to at­tract fel­low women. Also, a wife is ex­pected to make vis­its and hold meet with peo­ple to ex­plain the ideas a can­di­date is adopt­ing for his cam­paign to lure sup­port­ers.

It goes like this ‘be­hind ev­ery suc­cess­ful man, there is a woman,’ thus be­lieves Mariam Al-Mul­lah, whose hus­band Sal­man Al-At­tar is run­ning for elec­tions in the First Con­stituency. A wife is the ma­jor sup­porter of her hus­band, and has to back him morally, and psy­cho­log­i­cally, to achieve the as­pired goal, she said in an in­ter­view.

Ac­cord­ing to Mul­lah, a can­di­date’s wife has to be so­cially in­tel­li­gent which helps her form a wide and a strong cir­cle of re­la­tions with vot­ers from dif­fer­ent classes. She learns about their de­mands and as­pi­ra­tions, and con­veys them to the po­ten­tial MP.

Mul­lah com­mu­ni­cates di­rectly with fe­male vot­ers, no em­bar­rass­ment or af­fec­ta­tion. She has al­ready vis­ited women gath­er­ings and lis­tened to their ‘le­git­i­mate’ and de­mands from the 2016 par­lia­ment. These are topped with rights of wi­d­ows and peo­ple with spe­cial needs, as well as those of Kuwaiti women mar­ried to for­eign­ers.

Mul­lah has helped hus­band draw up the ma­jor points on his elec­tion man­i­festo, as she is closer to peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions and con­cerns. In ad­di­tion, she en­cour­ages her five kids to join the fa­ther’s cam­paign, un­der her su­per­vi­sion.

Hand in hand

Man­aber Al-Gharib, wife of Fifth Con­stituency can­di­date Hussein Al-Hadba AlRasheedi, is work­ing hand in hand with her hus­band, and to­gether they take care of the minute de­tails of his cam­paign, which fo­cuses mainly on is­sues of ed­u­ca­tion, health, women and youth, she told KUNA.

Rasheedi and Gharib are both aca­demics at the Pub­lic Au­thor­ity for Ap­plied Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (PAAET). This has been vi­tal for the har­mony in vi­sion and com­mon plan­ning for stand­ing for the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions and or­ga­niz­ing the cam­paign, she said.

Part of Gharib’s sup­port to her hus­band is that she is keen on pro­vid­ing a calm cosy home, where he finds com­fort af­ter long days of hard work; elec­tion ral­lies, TV and ra­dio in­ter­views and re­ply­ing jour­nal­ists’ ques­tions.

‘I never for­get my role as a wife and a mother, namely morally back­ing the mem­bers of my fam­ily and cre­at­ing emo­tional bal­ance at home,’ she said, not­ing that her el­dest son is charge of the fa­ther’s cam­paign, man­ag­ing it through so­cial net­work­ing. Kids have a sig­nif­i­cant role to play in the race to the par­lia­ment, the PAAET aca­demic stressed.

Full sup­port

Sheikha Al-Mu­tairi, wife of Omar AlTabtabei, a can­di­date for the sec­ond con­stituency, said that as soon as he de­cided to join the race, she of­fered him full sup­port. Tabtabei’s de­ci­sion to stand for the 2016 Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions, slated for Novem­ber 26, fol­lowed a long pe­riod of na­tional work with var­i­ous so­cial cat­e­gories and of dif­fer­ent ages, fo­cus­ing on ac­tiv­i­ties and ini­tia­tives on re­form and de­vel­op­ment, Mu­tairi said. ‘As I am well aware of his keen­ness to ad­dress is­sues and prob­lems re­lated to the Kuwaiti so­ci­ety, I was the first to back him,’ she added.

Mu­tairi lav­ishes un­re­lent­ing ef­forts to com­mu­ni­cate with the con­stituency elec­torate, and lis­tens to their views, de­mands and hopes, then trans­fer­ring the to the can­di­date. She is very pleased with the role she plays, say­ing that the voter’s as­pi­ra­tions vary, re­lated to so­cial, eco­nomic and trade is­sues.

Fe­male elec­torate look beyond so­cial rights, and ask for amend­ing laws on free busi­ness and en­trepreneur­ship to en­cour­age the Kuwaiti women play a more ef­fec­tive role for the good of the so­ci­ety. —KUNA

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