Kuwaiti women win first parliamentary seats

Election results show fundamentalist Muslims losing ground, now down from 24 seats to 16.

May 17, 2009 10:18
1 minute read.
Kuwaiti women win first parliamentary seats

kuwait woman elections 248 88 ap. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Four Kuwaitis have become the first women elected to their nation's parliament, a resounding victory in a conservative Persian Gulf country where the legislature has been men-only for almost half a century. Official results from Saturday's vote were read out by judges on state-owned TV on Sunday. Women gained the right to vote and run for office in 2005 but failed in two previous elections to win seats in the 50-member parliament. Saturday's election was the outcome of one such confrontation, which prompted Kuwait's ruler, or emir, to dissolve parliament and call the vote, the second time that has happened in a year. One of the women elected, Massouma al-Mubarak, was also the country's first female Cabinet minister. The other female winners were women's rights activist Rola Dashti, education professor Salwa al-Jassar and philosophy professor Aseel al-Awadhi. The election results also showed fundamentalist Muslims losing ground. They won 16 seats on Saturday, down from the 24 seats they held in the previous house. Kuwait, one of the few democracies in the Gulf, has led the region in giving its people political rights. Some critics, however, say the country's political stability and economy have suffered due to the powerful parliament's frequent clashes with Cabinets that are still selected and led by the ruling family. Kuwait has no officially recognized parties. Candidates either belong to political groups, run independently or represent their tribes. Voters casting ballots in Saturday's polls said they were tired of years of clashes between lawmakers and Cabinet members. Those clashes have sparked political crises that led to three elections and five Cabinets in three years. The political upheaval has virtually frozen development in the oil-rich nation at a time when it is grappling with the global financial crisis and falling oil revenues, which account for 90 percent of government income.

Related Content

August 17, 2018
Yazidi leader killed in air strike by Turkey four years after genocide