Kuwaiti women pin big hope on positive talks


Sheikh Nasser replied by saying, "God willing there will be more. Women are partners with men and a main player in society." Kuwaiti women make up just over half the population of citizens in the state. Women voted for th


e first time in Parliamentary elections last year but failed to win a seat. There are 50 elected MPs and 16 appointed ministers of which there is currently only one woman.



In order to accomplish women’s equal status as mentioned by HH the Prime Minister, women must be equally represented in the Cabinet and Parliament," said Reem Ali, who furthered, "Without a quota in the elections for Parliament, we will have to take it one election at a time until citizens recognize the equality of women via their voting habits. But in the Cabinet, that can be changed right now, today, as long as those in power believe women are truly equal citizens.



Reaction to Sheikh Nasser’s comments ranged from the apathetic to ecstatic. "It does not mean anything. It is what he does that matters, not what he says. If he makes a recommendation to HH the Amir for three women, then we will talk. But for now all it is, is talk," said Etidal Khaled.



The mere fact that someone in the respected position of PM is speaking so supportive of women is a great start," said Noora Nasser, who furthered, "Any man in a powerful position who speaks that way about women should be encouraged… I would like to hear the same talk from some of our elected MPs. They would be sure to feel the results in the next election." Dalal Fadahlah said, "All positive steps start with words, this is a beginning down the right path.



Currently, there are three vacant Cabinet positions which have been delegated to other ministers for the time being. The position of oil minister has sat vacant since the resignation of former Minister Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, who resigned due to a controversial grilling and a possible non-confidence vote.



The position of minister of communications and minister of parliament affairs had previously been held by one man, former Minister Shereeda Al-Moosherghi who resigned in protest of the grilling and possible no-confidence vote of his colleague Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah.



Former Minister of Health Maasouma Al-Mubarak resigned late last month after the deadly Al-Jahra Hospital fire, ngiving her the distinction of being the first female minister ever appointed and the first to have resigned. Al-Mubarak is the third minister to have resigned since the Cabinet’s formation in March of this year.



The remaining female member of Cabinet is Minister of Education Nooriya Al-Sabeeh who was the second woman in the nation to have been appointed. With Al-Mubarak out, women are hopeful that at least one of the three vacant positions might be filled with a woman.



I am confident HH that the Prime Minister will announce his recommendation for two women to the Cabinet…this is fair and satisfies both sides. It would mean only one more woman than the two who were already in the previous Cabinet, so it would not shock the old guard," said Fala Abdullah. "Let them be shocked!" countered Ghada Saad who furthered, "If the Prime Minister recommends women for all three spots, we still are outnumbered by men in the Cabinet.


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