Further advancing women’s political involvement in Kuwait, two women have been appointed to the sixteen-member Municipal Council, which focuses on civil planning and social services. The Council is comprised of ten elected members and six members appointed by the Prime Minister. Reuters reports that Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah announced his appointments and the inclusion of two women earlier this week. According to BBC News, the councilors will be Fatima al-Sabah, a member of the royal family and assistant under-secretary at the Emiri diwan, and Fawzia al-Bahr, an engineer.
The prime minister was also a strong supporter of women’s suffrage in Kuwait. Women were not eligible to vote in the elections for this Municipal Council; they will first vote in the 2007 parliamentary elections, and first vote for council members in 2009. Prior to this spring, Kuwaiti suffrage was restricted to men over 21 who were not members of the police or military, and the extension of suffrage to women over 21 has vastly increased the voting population and possibly created a female majority of voters.