Kuwait Grants Women Political Rights

 

ADC Press Release:

Washington D.C., May 17-The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomes the Kuwaiti parliament‘s historic vote allowing women the right to vote and to run for political office.

ADC Communications Director Laila Al-Qatami said, “ADC joins the international community in congratulating Kuwait on this historic measure. Enabling Kuwaiti women the right to vote and run for office is an important step for all Kuwaitis and Kuwait.”

Al-Qatami continued, “As an Arab American of Kuwaiti heritage, I take great personal pride in welcoming the measure allowing Kuwaiti women to fully participate in the political arena. I commend all the Kuwaiti women and men who worked for this over the years.”

A majority of the all-male Parliament passed the law after a marathon nine-hour session with 35 voting in favor, 23 against, and one abstention. While women will not be eligible to vote or run for office in the upcoming June council elections, Kuwaiti women can fully participate in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Kuwait's ruler Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued a decree in 1999 giving women full political rights, but until now the measure has been stuck in parliament.