Monday, May 16, 2005

Kuwaiti Women Win Right to Vote


Kuwait's all-male parliament voted 35 to 23 to grant women the right to vote Monday. Just 2 weeks ago on May 4 the same paliament failed to approve the same bill. Islamists had been strongly opposed to allowing women to vote. 400 women demonstrated in the streets after the bill failed.

Some of the women were covered completely in full-length veils, but many were dressed in the pale blue colour that symbolises the struggle of women in Kuwait. The demonstrators carried placards reading: "Women's rights now", and "Islamic law does not contain anything against women's rights".

The US had urged Kuwait to grant the enfranchisement of women and today welcomed the passing of the bill.

So where does that leave voting rights in the Mid East:

Women can vote and be elected: Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Palestinian territories, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, Iran
Women cannot vote or be elected: Saudi Arabia
There are no elections: Syria (holds presidential referenda in which women can vote), UAE, Libya

No comments: