Kuwaiti Lawmaker Intends to Overturn Sharia Mandates in Election Law

Rula Dashti, a female Kuwaiti lawmaker, proposed an amendment on Sunday to overturn an election law that requires women in parliament to follow sharia law. This requirement was codified in May 2005, when women were first granted the right to vote and hold office in the Kuwait’s National Assembly, according to the Kuwait Times.

Dashti told Agence France Presse that “the regulations clearly violate articles in the constitution which call for gender equality and make no reference to sharia regulations.”

Dashti and Aseel Al-Awadhi were among the first four women elected to Kuwait’s National Assembly in May and both refuse to wear the hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women, at work.

Three Islamist MPs first contested Dashti and Al-Awadhi’s refusal to wear the hijab in May. The country’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs ruled last week that the hijab is obligatory for Muslim women under sharia law reported the Telegraph UK, but did not specifically reference Dashti or Al-Awadhi.

“You can’t force a woman going to the mall to wear a hijab and you can’t force a woman going to work to wear the hijab” This is not Iran or Saudi Arabia,” Dashti told Telegraph UK.


Agence France Presse 10/12/09; Telegraph 10/12/09; Kuwait Times 10/12/09

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