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Massouma: Kuwait Women Key in Liberation

GREAT article from today’s Arab Times

Kuwaiti women played key role in liberating nation: Maasouma

GENEVA, Sept 29, (KUNA): Member of National Assembly of Kuwait Dr. Masouma AI-Mubarak said that during Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the Liberation War in 1991 the Kuwaiti women played a major role in liberating their country. Addressing the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference in Geneva, she stressed that the Kuwaiti women put up a remarkable resistance against occupation and struggled in every front for the safety of their country.

“It is a fact that no society can prosper when women do not contribute to its progress. It is a fact also, that we hold only a very small percentage of public offices, very few women are involved in politics and even fewer run for elected offices,” Dr. Al-Mubarak said. In her speech, “The Role of Women: Expectations and Challenges,”

Al-Mubarak said that the Kuwait Constitution does not discriminate between women and men with respect to their citizenship rights, but social customs. “Women make up more than 50 percent of the Kuwaiti population. They compose 24.5 percent of the country’s total workforce, and more than 40 percent of the Kuwaiti workforce, and about 70 percent of students at university level. More than 85 percent of the honor graduates are women,” she said. And added that Kuwaiti women hold prominent positions. However, Dr. Al-Mubarak said that one of the first obstacles faced as the first female MP was in running for in-house elections. “Another experience was in the election of the Parliamentarian committee for Women’s Affairs; all four female MPs won, in addition to three male MPs,” she said.

She explained that historically, this committee was not on the radar screen of Parliament “it only succeeeded in becoming so after the granting of women’s political rights in May 2005 where female voters became an attractive asset to those running for elections.

“One of our first decisions upon being elected into the committee was to suggest an amendment to the bylaws of the Parliament to include this committee among the roster of permanent parliamentarian committees thus cementing its importance to the nation,” said Al-Mubarak. Al-Mubarak explained that the committee is currently studying two proposals for social and civil women’s rights, and several proposals to amend discriminatory articles in several laws as: the Public Housing Law, the Civil Service Law, the Passport Law, the Labor Law, the Social Security Law, and the Immigration Law which affects the stability of families comprised of Kuwaiti wives married to non-Kuwaiti husbands.

She added that the committee also succeeded in putting women’s issues on the priority list of the Parliament which is comprised of 23 priorities for the upcoming session starting on October 27, 2009.

“The Five-Year Development Plan of Kuwait has allocated an entire program to support and develop the role of women in society and to incorporate them in the workforce, by training 19,416 women during the current Plan,” said Dr. Al-Mubarak. She stressed that until women are fully represented in local, national and international decision making bodies, their issues will not be priorities and the necessary resources will not be allocated.

September 30, 2009 - Posted by | Character, Community, Cultural, Family Issues, Kuwait, Leadership, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Women's Issues, Work Related Issues

1 Comment »

  1. Massooma rocks!

    I hope to God they’re able to actually get something passed in favor of less discrimination towards women. Our constitution is way more advanced than our legal system – this is ridiculous.

    Comment by 1001Nights | September 30, 2009 | Reply

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