Kuwait puts first women on council

Kuwait has appointed two women to its municipal council for the first time, in another landmark move after the Gulf Arab state granted women suffrage last month.

    Kuwati women over 21 got the vote last month

    An official source said on Sunday that the country's Council of Ministers made the historic decision.

    Four men were also appointed to the 16-member body, six of whose members are named by decree.

    The state news agency, Kuna, named the women as Shaikha Fatima al-Sabah of the ruling family, an architect who is an assistant undersecretary at the office of the country's ruler, and Fawziya al-Bahar, an engineer.

    Women were excluded from local polls on Thursday to elect the remaining 10 members because a law passed in May allowing them to vote and run in elections came too late for this round.

    But women will be able to vote in the 2007 parliament elections and 2009 local polls.

    Last month's suffrage bill was seen as a breakthrough in Kuwait, a strategic US ally that has pledged to pursue democratic reform.

    Although Kuwaiti women have reached high positions in the oil industry, the education system and the diplomatic corps, the country's 1962 election law limited political rights to men.

    Previously, only men over 21 who were not members of the police or the military were allowed to vote. This meant that just more than 139,000 people were registered to cast ballots out of 960,000 Kuwaitis.

    But with women over 21 able to vote now, as stipulated under the new law, the figure could reach 339,000.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.