Monday, May 16, 2005

Kuwaiti Women Gain Suffrage

Check out the NYTimes story about the historic decision. Yay, Kuwaiti women!

Parliament met Monday to discuss legislation introduced two weeks ago
allowing women to run in city council elections. But in a surprise move,
members of the cabinet opened the session by proposing a complete amendment
of the country's election law, which had permitted only men to take part in
the country's powerful Parliament.

The government also invoked a rarely used "order for urgency" to push through the legislation in one session, despite heated debate by Islamist members. By Monday evening, legislators had passed an amendment that removes the word "men" from Article 1 of the elections law, with 35 voting in favor and 23 against. But Islamist legislators, apparently trying to appease their conservative voting base, included a requirement that "females abide by Islamic law." The implications of that clause were not immediately clear, though women's advocates were saying it might just mean separate polling places for men and women.