Maiden win for Kuwaiti women
KUWAIT: Kuwaitis elected female parliament members for the first time and rejected a number of Islamic fundamentalist candidates in a weekend vote that many hoped would bring stability to the country’s rocky political scene.
Women gained the right to vote and run for office in 2005 but failed in two previous elections to win seats in the 50-member parliament. Four women were elected in Saturday’s vote, according to official results read out by judges on state-owned TV today.
Kuwait has led the region in giving its people democratic rights. It has an elected parliament that wields considerable power, but the Cabinet is still chosen and led by a ruling family that holds ultimate power. Radical religious politicians have fought against extending political rights to women.
And at the same time, they have pushed for full implementation of Islamic law in Kuwait.