November 24, 1999
Kuwait Rejects Political Rights for Women
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
UWAIT -- Kuwait's Parliament Tuesday rejected a
decree by the country's ruler to give
women the right to vote and run for
The 41-21 vote against the measure
came after many liberal lawmakers
who support women's rights said
they would oppose it as a protest
because the emir, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, issued the edict
while Parliament was out of session.
A Muslim traditionalist, Ahmed
Baqer, was applauded by the men at
the session when he shouted that the
Kuwaiti people do not want women's
rights, adding "Why do you want to
force it on them?"
But a liberal lawmaker, Sami al-Munayes, accused many of his colleagues of hiding behind the excuse
of the protest, while in their hearts
they wanted to deny women their
Supporters of women's rights will
have a second chance, however.
Five liberal lawmakers have submitted nearly identical legislation. It
is likely to come up for debate soon.
Muslim traditionalists form a substantial bloc in Parliament. They do
not approve of allowing women to
take part in politics or to mix with