Kuwait’s Parliament voted down women’s right to vote and run for office 41-22 as an act of protest against the emir Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah who issued the decree shortly after he dissolved Parliament in May.
Five liberal lawmakers in the newly elected Parliament, comprised of 50 members, have proposed almost identical legislation giving women the right to vote and run for office. Some Parliament members claim they will vote for this measure after voting down the emir’s decree in protest.
The second law will face opposition from Muslim fundamentalist lawmakers, who form a substantial faction. However, the parliamentary elections in July tripled the number of liberal lawmakers, raising hopes for the bill that would enfranchise women.
In Kuwait only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote – adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21. No immigrants are allowed to vote.