Women vote in Kuwait elections for first time

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June 29, 2006 08:29

 
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Women went to the polls for the first time in Kuwait, voting for parliament members in an election that has shaken up politics-as-usual in the conservative oil-rich emirate. Women, who won the right to vote and run for office last year, went to separate polling stations from men. There are 28 female candidates among the 252 people running in the election, and women make up 57 percent of voters. Even fundamentalist Muslims who opposed giving them the right to vote have campaigned for their suppport in the weeks heading up to Thursday's election. But the entry of women is not the only new twist in the election. The vote has sparked a surprisingly vocal campaign for reform in Kuwait, where the ruling Al Sabah family heads the government and holds sway over politics.

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