First Published: 2005-04-19

 
Kuwaiti women set to vote in municipal polls
 

Lawmakers approve in principle law giving Kuwaiti women right to vote, stand for municipal elections.

 

Middle East Online

The step will broaden popular political participation in Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY - Kuwaiti lawmakers on Tuesday approved in principle a law giving women in the conservative emirate the right for the first time to vote and stand in October's municipal council elections.

A second and final round of voting will take place in two weeks time. If passed, the legislation will be the first of its kind to give Kuwaiti women any political rights.

Those who voted in favour included 13 cabinet ministers present during Tuesday's session, as well as liberal and Shiite MPs. All tribal Islamist lawmakers, who are staunchly opposed to women's rights, voted against the bill.

The bill was passed by 26 votes while 20 MPs cast their ballots against and three abstained.

"This is the first step towards women's full political rights," Rula Dashti, chairwoman of the Kuwait Economic Society, told reporters after the vote.

Pro-women MP Ahmed al-Mulaifi said, "this step will broaden popular political participation in Kuwait."

The municipal council, whose powers are mainly organisational, is a civic body in which 10 of its members are elected while the remaining six are appointed by the emir. It is elected every four years.

Islamist MPs and their tribal allies have been campaigning against women's suffrage on the grounds that Islamic teachings bar women from participating in political life.

Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah favors giving women the vote. In 1999, he issued a decree granting women full political rights but it was narrowly rejected by parliament the same year.

Independent Al-Shall think tank said on March 12 that proposals to enfranchise Kuwaiti women and lower the voting age to 18 would triple the number of voters in the emirate, who currently make up 15 percent of the native population of 956,000.

 

Trump expects Gulf dispute to be resolved quickly

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds call off referendum

Sisi calls for peace, co-existence in Mideast

The skilled youth escaping Turkey's disillusion

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child

Saudi to lift ban on internet phone calls

US looking to revisit Iran nuclear deal

Bashir calls on Darfur displaced to return

Saudi Aramco could release accounts in early 2018

Saudi-led coalition says rebels hindering Yemen food imports

Jihadist activity prompts regime, Russian air strikes in Syria safe zone

Two prominent rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia

Israel shoots down Hezbollah drone over Golan Heights

Iraqi forces launch assault on IS in western Anbar province

Families of the missing, the forgotten victims of war in Lebanon

25 killed in South Sudan clashes

Suicide attack on Iraq restaurant kills three

Yazdi, Iranian foreign minister turned dissident, stood up for his ideals

Rebel shelling kills four children in Yemen's Taez

Turkey forces dig in on southern border ahead of Kurdistan vote

Algeria’s army urged to intervene as concerns about president’s health, country’s future grow

Saudi raises $1.87 bn in third Islamic bond issue

Hamas militant dies in Gaza tunnel incident

Algeria says last stock of land mines destroyed

Bahrain accuses Qatar of seizing three boats

Police deploy in Kirkuk after deadly dispute

Sisi meets Netanyahu at UN

The Metamorphosis of Iraq’s Islamist parties

Outgoing Syria war crime investigator slams UN impunity

Syrian army close to besieging IS in Deir Ezzor

France warns on Iran, N. Korea

Palestinian PM poised to visit Gaza