Tuesday, May 17, 2005

At long last: Koweiti women gain political rights

Encouraging news today: the Kuwaiti parliament has voted to give women the right to vote and to run for office. It is to be hoped that other states in the region will follow in Koweit's footsteps, although in ultraconservative places like Saudi Arabia, that may prove difficult.

I previously had thought that the process of granting women political rights in Kuwait would take a long time. I was wrong, and I hope future will prove me wrong in the case of Saudi Arabia too!


Jawad said...

So, Karim, does that mean that you owe me a drink :) I think your concerns are still very valid. This is a start - we'll see how it pans out.

Also, I think the rejection of the measure 2 weeks ago was tactical so that the conservatives buy time. That is, by defeating the measure 2 weeks ago and passing it this week, women won't be able to vote or contest next month's elections. Instead, they'll have to wait until 2007.

Karim said...


"So, Karim, does that mean that you owe me a drink :) "

Absolutely! I'd be more than happy to offer you one :)

Regarding your other comment, it may have been the case that the conservatives voted against the measure two weeks ago just to buy some time. It also seems, however, that the Koweiti government (according to al-Hayat) did a good job of "lobbying" some islamist PM's, which, after all, is how things should function in a democracy (i.e. through constructive dialogue, not through authoritarianism).