History made in Kuwait, Women go for their Rights!
Women made history in Kuwait on Tuesday by voting and running for office for the first time in a local by-election after the conservative Gulf state granted them suffrage last year.
Polls opened for the vote to fill a single seat in the 16-member Municipal Council. The rest of the members were elected or appointed last year. Some 28,000 voters, including 16,000 women, are eligible to cast ballots for the six men and two women standing.
Last May, parliament passed a government-sponsored bill granting suffrage to women who had fought for their political rights for more than four decades.
Tuesday's election paves the way for women to take part in 2007 parliamentary polls, the first since Kuwait's new ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, took office this year after the death of his half-brother.
Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah said in remarks published on Tuesday that the political participation of women would boost Kuwait's international standing.
And while visiting a polling station with first female cabinet minister, Planning Minister Massouma al-Mubarak and members, the Prime Minister said yesterday: "We say to Kuwaiti women 'God bless you'. You are welcome to participate in all spheres of life."
I predict that between five to ten years Kuwaiti women will get rid of their head scarves to bring a new leading liberal progressive experience to the Gulf region states. Congratulations to all Kuwaiti women who participated in yesterday's voting process!