All Kuwaiti women over 18 years of age will be able to cast a yes or no vote over women's political rights, the association said in a statement on Tuesday.

Association secretary-general Faisal al-Qunai said he expected several thousand women to take part.

"There has been talk that most Kuwaiti women are against, or unenthusiastic about, getting their rights. We think the referendum could show the trend," he said.

The issue has deeply divided Kuwaiti society, with supporters and opponents of women's political rights campaigning to win public opinion.

Pro-women activists have launched a campaign to collect signatures of citizens backing women's rights in a bid to sway opponents and undecided MPs.

Parliament is expected next month to debate a government-proposed bill that amends Article One of the electoral law to grant women the right to vote and run for public office.