Khorafi instructs female voters, calls on them to reject quota


Al-Khorafi also called on female voters to reject calls for a quota system that would ensure a woman wins a seat in parliament. The next parliamentary elections are expected to be held sometime in 2010.

Moreover, he said women had to deeply analyse results of the previous parliamentary elections and prepare for coming political events with a more objective understanding of Kuwait’s political reality.

The speaker stressed that establishing a modern legal entity based on justice and equality was "a great challenge" for all societies that sought advancement and modernity, noting that it could only be achieved through democratic practice, constructive and objective criticism, and national unity. This also requires the commitment of the legislative and executive authorities, he said, and efforts on their part toward constitutional cooperation.

The parliament speaker said the Kuwaiti society continued its march toward building a modern society that was secure and stable, saying that despite tensions and stumbles, Kuwaiti women were able to continue to push forward.

Improving conditions of women is an important factor in the improvement of national conditions in general, he said, and as citizens, Kuwaiti women had rights and responsibilities "that affect and are affected by the social principles and its flexibility in terms of advancement."

Al-Kharafi called on women to rightly employ their rights and responsibilities in order to improve their conditions, adding that the legal and judicial status of women, as was the case in any society, were "strongly linked" to the level of maturity of legal and judicial infrastructure and political ethics when it came to commitment to liberties, justice, and equality.

He said it is unlikely the conditions of Kuwait women could be improved without working on all of these issues, adding that this point offered an important perspective from which to understand different aspects of women’s issues and arriving at transparent solutions.

Kuwait’s endorsement in 1994 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) came to highlight national efforts in this respect and is an expression of the society’s beliefs in social justice and equality, he said.

However, Al-Khorafi said that "we must admit" that despite all that was achieved by Kuwaiti women, there remained obstacles in employing their abilities and skills. Women’s activities in the economic sector were still lower than anticipated despite the high levels of education, he said, and if women’s participation in boards continued to be limited, then so would their participation in decision-making processes.

Al-Khorafi also said improvement of legislative performance and amending legislations was the basis for elevating the legal conditions of Kuwaiti women and all related issues.

All of this could not be achieved without national action and consolidating the role of the civil society upon which fell the greater responsibility in this area. The speaker thus called on organisations and women’s societies to expand their activities.

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