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June 6, 2005
Kuwait Names Two Women To Government Posts

Kuwait recently granted women suffrage, one of the last nations that holds regular elections to do so. Almost immediately, the Kuwaiti government has made good on its efforts, naming two women to government posts ahead of any election:

Kuwait named two women to public office for the first time Sunday, less than a month after parliament passed a historic law granting women the right to vote and run for office.

Fatema Al Sabah, a member of the royal family and an engineer, and Fawzia al-Bahr, also an engineer, were named along with four other newly appointment members to the 16-member municipal council, Kuwait's prime minister told the official Kuwait News Agency. The other 10 members, all men, are elected.

After the suffrage law was amended to insist on the application of shari'a law to womens' votes, no one was quite sure whether the government meant the action as anything more than symbolic. Less than a month later, they have sent a clear message to the conservative Kuwaiti population that women will have a voice in the future of the kingdom. The inclusion of a woman from the royal house makes it clear that the monarchy itself supports womens' suffrage in civil government.

The first election for which women will be eligible to vote will come in 2007. They may have to put up with separate polling booths, and perhaps even separate polling stations, but they will have at least two examples of women in representative government that will inspire others to follow.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 6, 2005 7:05 AM

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