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Kuwait’s Parliament Fails to Give Women Political Rights

In a blow to women’s rights, the Kuwaiti parliament has failed to pass legislation that would have given women the right to vote and run for office in municipal elections. According the New York Times, Islamist and conservative lawmakers created a block that eliminates any chance that women will be able to participate in elections for another four years.

Kuwait’s constitution gives men and women equal rights, but the current election law only allows men over the age of 21 who are not in the police or military the right to vote or run for office making only 15 percent of the population eligible to vote. If women were granted the right to vote, that could make the percentage of eligible voters rise to 39 percent, reports the Associated Press, which could substantially change Kuwait’s political map.

Sources:

New York Times 5/3/05; BBC News 5/3/05; Associated Press 5/2/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/21/05

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