Wednesday, April 05, 2006

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!

26 Comments:

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to:

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.

In the words of a Jordanian, liberal, unveiled, liberal feminist academic affiliated to the University of Durham:

'It's what's in the head that counts, not on it'

Headscarves, in as far as women are not coerced into wearing them - are a non-issue.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger GC said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger GC said...

I really like the trendy hijabs that Kuwaiti women wear. They show so much creativity and individuality.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger Hope said...

What does this got to do with the head scarves? (not that I wear one )

Kuwaiti women can bring a new leading liberal progressive experience to the Gulf region states without getting rid of their head scarves.

 
At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ya i don't understand about headscarves,wats worng with them if they weren't forced

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so women are getting their rights in Kuwait, and the Egyptians are losing them?

Way to go Egypt?

 
At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

No chador! Alright! Way to go girls!

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

226 visitors from Iran. I wonder who could they *cough (IRI gov't employees!)* be?!?

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I wonder which 4 of the 1.6 billion people in China have access to the internet!?

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

GRanted that women should have the right to wear hijab if they want to, can anyone give me ANY reason why they should? (I mean in general. Fashion, keeping hair in place on a windy day, during special, formal occasions, that's different.) Even the supposed 'modesty' argument makes no sense. Maybe 7th Century Arabs found hair erotically stimulating, but today???

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^6
so why should jews wear the head cap,or why should sieks where their turban.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

prup, early Christians and Jews wore similar headscarves. It's just a tradition. I could specualte about nomadic tribes living in a desert would take to wearing scarves that protected them from sun and sand, but I'd just be speculating. I don't have an opinion about women who voluntarily wear hijab, but I do oppose women being made to wear hijab, by law or by peer pressure. Although, I have to admit... I make certain assumptions about women who wear a headscarve here in the US... I've had some negative experiences with them. It's their right to wear a hijab, and it's my right not to associate with them, and not to voluntarily work with them. I don't associate with evangelical Christians voluntarily either, but they're a lot harder to spot unless they happen to have a Bible in their hands and they're ringing your doorbell :)

 
At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Sam and all muslim haters out there: READ before you speak as if your hate is facts
"So who burned the Library of Alexandria? Plutarch blamed Julius Caesar.Edward Gibbon blamed Theophilus.According to Ibn al-Kifti's (History of the wise), whose story was repeated by Bishop Gregory Bar Hebraeus, the remaining books were destroyed by general Amrouh following orders of Caliph Umar (see Luciano Canfora "The vanished Library"). The collection may have ebbed and flowed as some documents were destroyed and others were added. For instance, Mark Antony was supposed to have given Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls for the Library long after Julius Caesar is accused of burning it."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria

 
At 4:24 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Anon, I'm guessing you intended that comment for another post?

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger Sara said...

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.

i lived in emirates which has similar environment like kuwait in the social life...there is no force on women to wear veil...it is a personal thing there...but because women and girls are mostly relegious there..so they were it with their own well...

the same here in egypt....i am 30 years now and i wear the head scarve only from 4 years...no one forced me to wear it..

i wish that i could wear it many years before....beside that it is a must for muslim woman but also it saved me from bad behaves that i used to face while i was walking or driving my car....and i know that this is the main reason in islam for why the veil is a must... it is a religious obligation and duty to save women in her society from any bad situations or acts she might face

 
At 12:36 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Hi Sara,

I mean no offense, but if you get sexually harrassed when you don't wear a veil, wearing it isn't really voluntary, is it?

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Sara said...

programmer craig

not all the bad behaves are sexual harresaments....
bad behaves can be with words and looks also...
why is the look a bad behave for me...because simply i'm not a product who walks on earth that every one has to look at because i'm beauty or ugly...

the veil prevent me from those actions too...

i faced those bad behaves also in Paris not only in our arab countries....

so please do not relate the veil with sexual harresaments, rape and all that disgusting issues we hear from the westerns

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Sara:
You have me confused. What bad behaviours? I simply cannot believe that, in this day and age, there is any sexual attraction in seeing a woman's hair. Or is it Muslims who assumed you weren't religious because they saw you uncovered?

As for the question about yarmulkes or turbans, I don't particularly like them -- particularly since I live in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood and have seen parents in panic because the wind took off a one-year old's yarmulke.
But to me, the hijab has specific connotations the others do not, implications about a woman's inferiority, about a woman's sexuality, that I reject.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I'm not French, Sara, but women here in teh US don't get sexually harrassed, walking down the street. No matter what they wear. The solution is to teach the men not to act that way, not to cover yourself up to try to hide from it. I say again, this doesn't seem voluntary to me.

And sexual harrassment is never physical. It's almost always verbal. If it's physical, it's not called sexual harrassment, it's called sexual assault.

Both are criminal acts in the most western countries.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Sara said...

@programmer craig

And sexual harrassment is never physical. It's almost always verbal. If it's physical, it's not called sexual harrassment, it's called sexual assault.

Both are criminal acts in the most western countries.


beside the police role....also veil or head scarf is a solution that prevent women from facing any of those criminal acts.....

wearing veil....means also to wear in long sleevs, long blouses beside wearing the veil...

so if you are walking in the street and you saw 2 women ..one with veil and long sleevs and long blouse and the other as you know tide , hair style, protale, short....
you defiently will admire the second one....and that is the type of the look that i do not like...

if we are different in our dressing type...it is up to us...we are happy with our wear style...we are free to wear in that way...tide, shorts..bikini...no sleevs..hair style is not a sign of developing....

if these are sign of developing..thailand , south america, most of africa and many other non muslim countries in asia would be first category countries..
so stop bothering us in talking about veil...because it is the muslim women wish and well...

 
At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,

Clothing is not protection for a woman. It is society, not the clothing, that does that. You were harassed for failing to wear a veil. In your society, there are preachers who tell young men that it is ok to act badly toward girls without veils. That is why they do it.

Think about. In what countries are women well-treated? Where can they vote? Drive? Travel freely by themselves? Attend any school funded by the government? Work at any job? Get paid the same as a man doing the same job?

Are those countries the ones where veils are prevalent?

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Sara said...

In your society, there are preachers who tell young men that it is ok to act badly toward girls without veils. That is why they do it.

why twisting words...can't you people read !!!!!!!!!

i never herrased or that illegal acts....what is that!!!!!!!!

i said bad behaves not your blablabla!!!

it is a big lie about there are preachers who tell young men that it is ok to act badly toward girls without veils....that is not true...that is a lie you want to live in to be mobilized toward our islamic nations.....

i am a muslim woman living in a muslim country which is an arab country...i never heard that weird fatwas...i weared veil because i liked that...because i want to apply my religious duty of islam.....you all admited that women in all the countries of the mother earth face bad behaves ...and we here in our countries are the same as all the world.......but we to have the advantage of less criminal acts against women not like those in non islamic countries...

thank god i can walk in the street of my country at 12:00 am with no harm....but guess what will happen to me if i were in any european country ???????

by the way i have been to europe...and i know well the rules...so do not strat to lie...please

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

leave them alone , folk...most of those muslims are too stubbon to recognize and admit the world and them themselves are changing..it's a matter of fact but let them wear their stupid veils to show off their religiousness...to be a good believer doesn't mean to hide your nose from the sun and people. Lots of them are too ugly to show their faces in public,,that's the main point for their love of traditional clothing....we have 17% of muslims in my country - most of them have seen a hijab only in the historic movies or news from the arab countries...Let them do whatever they wish but attack or bother us...Larissa , Russian

 
At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, Sara..I've been to Egypt lately...some people are nice, some are unfriendly, more impolite young men than in my country but fewer than in the UAE. iT'S NOT BAD THE WORLD IS DIFFERENT. I couldn't walk in 12am...a crowd of youngsters of 20-30 was following me and my daughter..we had to ask a policeman for help...it's not fun and a sign of disrespect towards foreigners. Anyway, we liked Egypt very much...be happy there!

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Sara said...

by the way, Sara..I've been to Egypt lately...some people are nice, some are unfriendly

normal case allover the world....the world didn't see yet the perfect city...i didn't say that we are the safest...but we are safe...we have criminal acts like all the 192 countries!!!

to be a good believer doesn't mean to hide your nose from the sun and people. Lots of them are too ugly to show their faces in public,,that's the main point for their love of traditional clothing....

actually i didn't get your point of view from hiding their ugly faces from public!!!

do you mean ugly in looking....do you mean that muslims women are ugly????

well actually you are insain to say that _if you meant it_ because not all the different races that take al islam their relegion are ugly faces...!!!weird!!!

we are 1.3 billion with 21% of world population....all the muslim women wear viel are ugly????

not logic...think again and bring up a better clue...not a joke one plaese!!!!!!

leave them alone , folk...most of those muslims are too stubbon to recognize and admit the world and them themselves are changing

not folk...it is a right...it is our right to wear what we want...
why don't you people talk about the indians who have their unique uniform ??????????????

loosing your identity it is not our fault...we here in our countries wear what we want men and women....
if we want to change so it is our right....if we do not still it is our right...

sometimes i am asking myself....do that attack on veil because of seeing more women started to wear it...ohh!! that's mean more muslims!!!that's mean more relegious people!!!!

you better be worry...because we are the only relegion still keeping it's rules that protect the society and put respectable relation between man and women which most of the world lost it nowadays....

A woman with veil...she is the first one to be eleminated from theses non respectable relation that is accepted nowadays....

 
At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Sabby said...

I find it amusing when self-righteous goons such as anonymous (well, one of them anyway) and others on this thread attempt to draw a link between the lack of progression in the Middle East and the wearing of the headscarf.

As someone who has been wearing a hijab for 3 years now and quite happily lives in a liberal, Western country, I fail to see how my dress choice has the potential to relegate my country to the pits of backwardness.
Prup's suggestion that the veil and suppression of womens rights are synonymous is an absurd statement to say the least. Granted, a number of Muslim women in underdeveloped countries are forced to wear the veil on the insistence of ignorant and uneducated regimes who dont know anybetter. But to make a blanket statement such as that is unwarranted.
Im a university student as are many of my veiled friends who will one day graduate and make a difference to their society. Wearing the hijab does not impinge on my rights nor my freedoms. The greater proportion of women in the world wear it out of religious conviction and it is not your right to question nor mock the fulfillment of a religious requirement.

 

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