State-owned television quoted Kuwaiti Prime Minister Shaikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah as saying on Sunday that political science teacher Massuma al-Mubarak, a women's rights activist and columnist, was given the planning and administrative development portfolio.

"This honour is not bestowed on my person but on every woman who fought to prove that Kuwaiti women are capable," said al-Mubarak, 54, whose appointment needs to be approved by the amir, Shaikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and issued in a decree.

She told Aljazeera on Sunday that her appointment was not the end of Kuwaiti women's political struggle. "This is only part of the first stage of our political progress," al-Mubarak said.

"We have the forthcoming parliamentary elections in which women will be candidates and we have a great deal to do to support women candidates in these elections.

"This will not be the end of our progress, but an important event in enabling women to enter the Kuwaiti political arena."

Al-Mubarak has a PhD in international relations from the University of Denver, in the US state of Colorado.

She has taught political science at Kuwait University since 1982, and writes a daily column for al-Anba newspaper.

Her appointment became possible last month when parliament passed a law allowing women to vote and run for public office for the first time in the history of the country.