Kuwait’s Council of Ministers approved a bill this weekend allowing women the right to vote and to run for parliamentary election. The draft still needs to go before the full 50-member Parliament for approval.
According to Reuters, Kuwaiti women have been fighting for the right to vote for over 40 years. In 1999, Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued a decree granting women suffrage, but it was defeated in the 50-member house by a group of Islamists and conservative members of Parliament, reports Reuters.
Islamists, both Sunni and Shi’a, took more than one-third of the seats in the 50-seat all-male parliament. Kuwaiti women make up 70 percent of college graduates in Kuwait but they are less than 5 percent of the country’s decision makers, reports Reuters.