Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kuwaiti Women Get the Vote

You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

While we're distracted with riots and George "the Saddamist" Galloway at the Senate, a barely heard shout for democracy starts in Kuwait and slowly makes its way to the western word:

Kuwaiti Women Get the Vote

I also wanted to point out the picture that went with the story. The women in the parliamentary gallery are largely dressed in western clothes and without the hijab, naqib or any other encompassing clothing. Some are even wearing matching t-shirts with an obvious slogan on the front.

I point this out because I think it is important for people to get over the concept that all women in the Arabic world are walking around with burqas, veils (naqib?), chador or hijab covering them from head to toe.

But, I digress.

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah told reporters in Parliament that he planned to name a woman minister. “God willing, it will be soon. Now we have the right to appoint women in the government,” he said. “Thank God... that women got their political rights,” the premier said. “I congratulate the women of Kuwait for having achieved their political rights.”

Me, too.

Congratulations, ladies!

I know it's not perfect, but I know you won't back down after this.

Less than perfect:

But they [ed...anti-women MPs] succeeded in passing an addition to the amendment requiring Kuwaiti women who take part in the elections “to comply with regulations dictated by Islamic Shariah law”, without explaining the nature of those guidelines.

What did the women have to say about this?

Dashti said she was not concerned by the reference to Shariah law, saying it probably just meant separate polling stations and not an Islamic dress code. “They can’t impose veils on voters,” she said.

Exactly. What is more interesting is that women voters will out number the men:

The amendment will increase the number of eligible voters in Kuwait from the current 145,000 males to more than 350,000 people, or 37 percent of Kuwait’s native population of 956,000.

These ladies join a growing number of women in the ME given their right to participate in their government:

Kuwaiti women now join their counterparts from Gulf neighbors Qatar, Oman and Bahrain in having the vote.

Not including Iraq? Of course, women had the right to vote there, you just had to make darn certain it was for the guy that already had the big red "x" on the ballot next to his name.

Either way...

You've come a long way, Baby!

Nadz points to some influential Muslim ladies.


Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Women got the vote. Next thing you know Kuwait will have flappers; jazz; Prohibition; gangsters, and then they'll get sucked into a world war, having to send their troops off somewhere to fight an evil dictator abroad...


Bob Jones said...

Now if we can just convince them to vote for someone other than the person their husband or father tells them to vote for.