First Woman Minister Appointed to Cabinet in Kuwait

Kuwait named its first woman cabinet minister yesterday, the latest in a series of advancements for women’s rights in Kuwait. Massouma al-Mubarak, a women’s rights activist, political science professor, and newspaper columnist, was appointed to the planning and administrative development departments, reports the BBC. Just a month ago, Kuwaiti women won the right to vote and to run for office, an advancement that follows years of struggle by Kuwaiti women’s rights activists. Three weeks later, Prime Minister Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah announced the appointment of two women to the 16-member Municipal Council for civil planning and social services.

The appointment of cabinet minister Massouma al-Mubarak further strengthens women’s political representation in the country as women prepare to exercise their right to vote and run for office beginning in the 2007 parliamentary elections. Al-Mubarak told the Associated Press, “This honor is not bestowed on my person but on every woman who fought to prove that Kuwaiti women are capable.”

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Sources: The Associated Press 6/12/05; BBC 6/12/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 5/17/05, 6/7/05

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