Kuwaiti Women Win Right to Vote

Friday, July 23 2010

Women Voters and Islamists Required to Abide by Islamic Law

(May 17, 2005) The Kuwaiti parliament has voted to give women full political rights. The amendment to the Kuwait's electoral law means women can for the first time vote and stand in parliamentary and local elections.

It was passed by 35 votes for, 23 against, with one abstention. Council elections are due this later this year.

Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Sabah, issued a decree giving women full political rights in 1999.

The change in the law, which was agreed at the end of a 10-hour session, had previously been blocked by a majority of tribal and Islamist members of parliament. Many of these had argued that Islamic law prohibited women from positions of leadership.

The amendment requires women voters and candidates to abide by Islamic law.

Correspondents say this is an attempt by the ruling family to reassure Islamists. It could also place restrictions on women campaigners.

 

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