"At last Kuwait women have gained their political
rights which they have long been denied under pressure from masculine society
represented by National Assembly members in successive terms.
At last Kuwaiti women can be voters, MPs and
cabinet ministers, and can clearly express their views about all political,
social, economic and cultural issues in parliament and share in the political
process side by side with men. At last Kuwaiti women have concluded a long story
which they followed with great effort, patience and struggle, and more
importantly, with hope which reactionary forces failed to shatter in spite of
their repeated attempts . The article reviewed all chapters of the story from
the first feminist movement in the history of Kuwait until the long-awaited
rights were gained on the evening of May 16,2005.
However, many observers of the political
conditions in Kuwait and the Arab world ruled out Kuwaiti women s getting into
parliament before the passage of as many as decades unless they receive special
legislative aid, as happened in many other Arab countries which apply the female
quota system, or be added to party lists as a compulsory percentage. Even those
who were very optimistic about the ability of Kuwaiti women to fulfil their
dreams were so pessimistic and waited for something like a special miracle.
Surprisingly, that did happen, and, interestingly, on the same day which
coincided with the fourth anniversary of Kuwaiti women s gaining of their
rights: the sixteenth of May. Will this date be the Kuwaiti Women Day?
The sixteenth of May
On the sixteenth of May this year (2009), Kuwaiti
women were destined to receive a wonderful present from the people of Kuwait-men
and women: the confidence they put in four women candidates in National Assembly
elections and made them sit in Abdullah Al-Salim Hall, where parliamentary
sessions are held, a step which was a big dream come true.
Yes... at last the big dream has come true after
almost half a century of struggle in which both men and women shared. This long
march was arranged by Kuwaiti women of different age groups, education and class
levels and social backgrounds, as well as by women who supported women s rights
to share in national development as legislation through the gate of democracy,
in spite of all social, legal, political and other barriers against women rights
which are enshrined in the constitution. In this respect, many awesome moral
weapons were used in the form of fatwas which were mostly contradictory, to
prove that Islam bars Muslim women from sharing in the democratic process as
voters and candidates in elections.
Significant landmarks on the road
No right is lost so long as there are those who
keep demanding it. As far as Kuwaiti women s political right is concerned ,many
men and women continued demanding it in repeated attempts with unfailing
determination. Though tiring, the journey down the road was pleasant, and it is
therefore a story worth telling, as outlined below:
In 1962 Kuwait s constitution was promulgated,
Article 29 of which reads: People are equal in human dignity, and they are equal
in the eyes of the law in general rights and duties with no discrimination on
the grounds of sex, origin, language or religion.
In 1962 Election Law 35 was enacted under which
Kuwaiti women were barred from voting in or standing for election, as Article 1
thereof reads: Every Kuwaiti male at least 30 calendar years of age shall be
eligible to vote, except for naturalized persons who have been citizens for less
than 30 calendar years in accordance with the provisions of Article 6 of Law 15
of 1959 in respect of the Kuwaiti nationality.
In 1971 Nouriya Alseddani, then President of the
Arab Women Day in Kuwait and President of the Family Progress Society submitted
a memo to the National Assembly Speaker demanding that Kuwaiti women be given
the right to vote and stand for election. The memo was referred to the
Complaints and Petitions Committee which approved the recommendations therein
and referred it to the Assembly which debated it in many sessions starting from
8 December 1973.
During the fourth legislative term in 1975 MPs
Jassim Alqatami and Rashid Alfarhan submitted the first bill proposal giving
women full political rights to vote and stand for election.
During the fifth legislative term (1981-1985) MP
Ahmad Fahd Altukhaim put forward a bill to amend Article 1 of the Election Law
to acknowledge women r rights.
During the sixth legislative term whose elections
were held on 20 February 1985, MP Khalid Salih Alghonaim proposed a bill giving
women the right to vote and stand for lection.
On 17 April 1991 the then Amir of Kuwait HH Sheikh
Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in his first address after liberation from the
Saddam invasion promised to consider the issue of women s political rights and
participation in parliament so as to help them play their role fully in social
development and progress.
During the seventh legislative term in 1992 PM
Hamad Aljoan put forward a bill giving women their political right to vote and
stand for election.
On 20 July 1994 during the same term MPs Ali
Albaghli Abdumohsen Jamal, Jassim Alsaqr and Abdullah Alnibari brought forward a
bill to the same effect.
During the eighth legislative term whose elections
were held on 7 October 1996 MPs Sami Almunayes, Abdullah Alnibari and Dr Hassan
Johar submitted a bill at the end of December giving women their political
On 29 January 1997 during the same term MPs Salah
Abdulrida Khorshied and Abbas Hussein Alkhadari brought forward a bill to the
All these attempts ended in failure, particularly
in view of the fact that the poltical forces represented in the National
Assembly who rejeced women s political rights exploited the government s
rejection, silence, indifference or abstention to secure a majority vote against
women s political rights. These forces were an inhomogeneous mix of
conservatives and Islamists; however, they were united in this issue in
particular, but otherwise in other issues. Their most powerful weapons were
fatwas which prevent women from legislation arguing that the latter entails
public authority which women are barred from assuming, although advocates of
women s rights were at pains to show the differences in relevant fatwas,
particularly as nearly all other Arab countries apply such fatwas that allow
women to vote and stand for election.
O 16 May 1999 the Cabinet approved a decree law
giving Kuwaiti women the right to vote in and stand for general and municipal
elections. On 25 1999 HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah issued
Decree Law 9 of 1999 amending Article 1 of Law 35 of 1962 concerning National
Assembly elections allowing Kuwaiti women to vote in and sand for National
As the national Assembly was dissolved when the
above decree law was issued, the newly-elected Assembly rejected it in its 23
November 1999 session.
In the same session the Assembly accepted an
urgent bill proposal submitted by 14 members similar to the above decree law
which the Assembly had previously rejected.
In the 30 November 1999 session the Assembly voted
against a bill submitted by MPs Muhammad Alsaqr, Sami Almunayes, Ahmad Alrobie,
Abdulwahab Alharoun and Abdulmohsen Jamal in the 2 August 1999 session amending
Article 1 of Election Law 53 of 1962.
On 29 July 2000 the Assembly Speaker said he
received a bill proposed by MPs Sami Almunayes. Muhammad Alsaqr, Abdullah
Alnibari and Abdulwahab Alharoun to the same effect.
On 16 January 2001 the Constitutional Court
dismissed the appeal lodged by a citizen against Director of Elections and
National Assembly Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior ex officio pleading
that the Election Law is unconstitutional.
On 17 March 2002 the Constitutional Court Appeals
Examination Committee dismissed two cses brought by two female citizens against
the Minister of the Itnerior for refusl to enter their and other women s names
in the electoral register.
On 11 May 2003 the Cabinet approved significant
amendments to Municipality Law allowing women to vote in and stand for Municipal
Council elections as well as to hold office therein. On 30 May 2001 the
government referred to the Assembly a draft law under Decree 130 of 2004
amending Article 1 of Election Law 53 of 1962. The draft law was referred to the
Assembly s Interior and Defence Committee.
On 16 May 2005 the Assembly voted in favour of a
bill giving women political rights to vote and stand for election.
On 12 June 2005 the first Kuwaiti woman became a
cabinet minister as Dr Moasouma Almubarak was appointed Minister of Planning and
Minister of State for Administrative Development. More women were later
appointed ministers in successive cabinets.
In the 2006 elections women voted in and stood for
election for the first time. The number of women voters and candidates was a
surprise. Though no woman was elected, the election results showed the
experiment as generally a success. There were 27 women candidates some of whom
polled a fair number of votes in their constituencies.
In the 2008 elections there was a broader female
participation, and the dream all but came true. Five women candidates received a
considerable number of votes, outdoing many male candidates. One woman came in
eleventh position in her constituency and hence all but entered parliament.
In the 2009 elections the dream came true and
Kuwaiti women got into parliament. This story is worth telling and is divided
into four stories of four women.
Yes... at last Kuwaiti women s dream came true
through four women: Drs Maasouma Almubarak, Aseel Alawadi, Rola Dashti and Salwa
Aljassar, a story of each is worth telling, a brief account of which follows:
Story One: Maasouma Almubarak
She entered Kuwait s political history for the
first time in 2005 as the first female cabinet minister, and now she enters
history for the second time through a different door-the National assembly.
She was born in Kuwait in 1947. She completed
secondary school in Kuwait and in 1971 she left for the USA where she obtained a
Master s and a PhD from the University of Denver. She has been teaching
political science at Kuwait University since 1982, but she gave up the job she
loved for some time when she was chosen by the Prime Minister to be Minister of
Planning in 2005, then Minister of Communications in 2006 and Minister of Health
a year later. She resigned in 2007 following a fire which broke out in Jahra
Hospital for which she accepted responsibility with outstanding courage. As she
left office she had apparently decided to enter her country s political history
this time through the ballot box. Once there were early elections following the
constitutional dissolution of the National Assembly she announced her intention
to sand for election in one of Kuwait s five constituencies.
Good choice makes a better march
Dr Maasouma fought the elections as an independent
candidate under the above slogan. Her election manifesto began: Kuwait deserves
all our care, effort and dedication. Saving Kuwait from the state of standstill
which resulted from successive political crises and their profound implications
requires listening to reason and conscience. It also requires effective
cooperation between the executive and the legislature to move from doubtful
intentions to mutual and joint action within the framework of the constitution
and national interests, to realize ambitions and aspirations for such real
development that returns Kuwait s cheerful face and Kuwaitis optimism. Her
manifesto described in outline her political vision: promoting national unity
and doubling political and parliamentary effort to encourage cooperation between
the two powers in order to speed up development and achieve progress in all
sectors for building Kuwait-country and people.
As she enters the National Assembly, Almubarak s
message is the need to adhere to the constitution in letter and spirit, enhance
citizens role in protecting national unity, abandon sectarian and tribal
wrangling and promote the spirit of national partnership based on mutual respect
among all sectors of society.
Justice, equality and transparency
Professor of political science and the first woman
cabinet minister in the history of Kuwait, Almubarak outlined her objectives as
justice, equality of opportunity and rule of law, in addition to cooperation
between the two powers on the basis of separation of the powers, according to
parliamentary practices which fulfil the necessary roles and requirements based
on transparency and realism in settling differences so as to resolve crises as
is acceptable to both the majority and the minority. She also stressed the need
for promoting national unity to bring about significant change, reform and
She also stressed the need for a strategic vision
of a twenty-year development plan, part of which is a five-year plan for
educational, health, housing, economic, social and other infrastructure. She
recommended working out a government action plan which implements the five-year
plan based on the 20-year strategic vision, as well as agreeing all projects and
their budgets with the National Assembly, so as to enhance human development
which is the real investment and the lifeblood of the nation s building in which
citizens are the cornerstone of any development process.
On the eve of the elections she addressed her
constituency voters. You have to change the prevailing spirit of frustration in
these elections, she said. Thanks to her vision, she won huge popularity in her
constituency which is generally regarded as one of the most difficult due to
sectarian division. Ten candidates won the 2008 elections, equally divided among
Sunnis and Shiites, a clear indication of sectarian polarization.
The first winner
Almubarak s charismatic personality helped her
surmount that obstacle and win voters trust. Contrary to many expectations, she
came first, well ahead of her male winners. After the election results were
announced she felt her message was delivered. We all took part in that
democratic festival which saved us from the sense of frustration and despair and
brought back our belief in democracy. What remains now is optimism about a
harmonious relationship and constructive cooperation between the executive and
the legislature in order to enhance development which has long been stalled
because of repeated crises between the government and parliament, she commented.
Commenting on the victory of four women MPs she
said: This result shows popular insistence on actual female participation in
parliament. That four women won in the third round is unprecedented. She
attributed that impressive victory to voters understanding, saying that result
would reflect on parliamentary action, particularly as far as delayed issues and
law and stalled major projects are concerned. When implemented, these will make
Kuwait a financial and business centre. She expressed her joy at the victory of
the other three women MPs saying they would all play key roles, particularly
concerning women s issues which require amending many laws to ensure equality
with men in all matters, as enshrined in the constitution.
Story Two: Aseel Alawadi
The youngest female MP, she is viewed by many as
the least experienced in national politics; however she proved she was able to
win Kuwaitis trust with her quiet presentation of ideas, quieter voice and a
manifesto based on a comprehensive investigation of the country s and citizens
She was born in Kuwait, and after graduation from
Kuwait Unviersity she left for the US where she lived for about ten years during
which she obtained a Master s and a PhD. After returning to Kuwait she taught
philosophy at Kuwait University and soon afterwards she was involved in politics
joining the National Democraic Alliance on whose list she stood for the 2008
elections and ran a carefully orchestrated campaign which surprised all
observers who didn t know much about her. She came in eleventh position in her
constituency (No.3), just one position behind the ten winners. That relatively
advanced position qualified her to stand for the 2009 elections with
considerable confidence as an independent candidate, though.
A homeland anew
Under the above slogan, Alawadi ran her campaign
in her constituency, which is the stronghold of organized political groups in
Kuwait, armed with a manifesto which stressed the issue of development. In her
introduction to the manifesto she said: What we need is development, real
development according to a long term strategy based on a solid foundation of
investigation and analysis which ensures sustainable economic and social
development, through sound investment of the country s natural and human
resources at present and for a better future. What we also need is that our
political position and decisions should serve this purpose rather than impede
it. She said real development required a stable economy which, being society s
driving force, needs special attention.
She is of the opinion that a stable economy
requires dynamic individuals, the driving force and target of development, and
that training hardworking citizens who serve their country in the spirit of the
age is at the core of development. As education is the basis for human
development, educational reform has become an absolute necessity. Education and
culture, she maintains, are the two pillars of overall development. One aspect
of education is a means of the dissemination and promotion of national culture.
Culture, in its broad sense, is the spirit of the nation and the repository of
its ideas, values, moral standards, vision of and attitude to life. Since its
birth, Kuwait s culture has been one of openness and tolerance which made it a
leading beacon of culture in the Arab world.
As Alawadi pointed out in her election manifesto,
a dynamic individual must enjoy good health, and provision of the essential
ingredients for public health is a collective responsibility through active,
organized action led by the public sector.
Among the broad headings of her manifesto is real,
effective democracy . In this context she says development flourishes in a
climate of freedom and transparency under democracy. But since its inception,
Kuwait s democratic experiment has been suffering from nuisances not in line
with the spirit of the constitution and the relevant approach. It is therefore
our duty to defend our democracy in the face of challenges. In addition,
democratic practices must also be protected and activated. Alawadi recommends
that the rule of law restore its respect and be applied to all without
distinction. She believes that the state administrative machine needs
significant reform, and to ensure the rule of law as a key factor in the nation
s building requires a completely independent judiciary.
Alawadi, who came in second position in her
constituency, said women won the elections due to the Kuwaiti people s desire
for change, attributing their victory to years of hard work, pointing out that
masculine domination over Arab societies and marginalization of the role of
women in all areas were the main obstacles the women candidates encountered in
the recent elections. She referred to some factors which helped Kuwait women
fulfil their old dream , including "the bad performance amid an unprecedented
atmosphere of conflicts which made MPs ignore people s interests and sufferings
and engage in wrangling with the government " and neglected development and
raising the standard of public services , During the year , which helped the
women candidates greatly, parliament was busily engaged in wrangling using an
unacceptable language of dialogue.
As Alawadi said, dissolution of the National
Assembly aroused Kuwaitis genuine desire for change, one of the tools of which
was women. Even in the constituencies which are dominated by a tribal mentality
and primary elections, women polled a considerable number of votes and came
among the top fifteen, which is an advanced position. To conclude, she said
those circumstances achieved a general consensus of opinion that women should be
MPs. The press also played a role in the election process, and the nation that
women don t vote for women was given up.
According to Alawadi, among the other reasons for
such impressive victory for women so rapidly was the high level of education of
most women candidates, and the fact that all female winners are PhDs contributed
effectively to their victory, for most MPs do not hold any degrees, and some of
them are half-educated and difficult to deal with, as they are unable to draw up
any economic, social or educational plans or programmes.
However, this does not mean that the women s road
to parliament was a smooth one. They faced many obstacles summed up by Alawadi
as widespread rumours and fatwas which deny women the right to vote.
Nevertheless, MP Alawadi was ultimately very happy
with the results women achieved and the change in political action which the
people of Kuwait insisted on by choosing certain candidates, but she was quick
to say: Many challenges face us, especially as there are those who want to foil
the experiment, and, accordingly, we have to position ourselves firmly in
Story Three: Rola Dashti
She was born in Kuwait in 1964. Her father was
Kuwaiti; her mother Lebanese. She pursued her studies in Beirut, where she
acquired its dialect which some people tried to use to her disadvantage, but she
turned it into a positive factor, thanks to her intelligence, spontaneity,
self-confidence and love of her country. In this way she presented her real
image to people without any cosmetic exercise. She continued her studies in the
USA, where she obtained a PhD in demographic economics from Johns Hopkins
University, following which she returned to Kuwait after liberation from the
Saddam invasion and worked as an economic expert. She is a women s rights
activist and an advocate of democratic and economic reform. Kuwaitis know her as
an active supporter of women s political rights, and when these rights were
approved in the historic parliamentary session of 16 May 2005 TV viewers noticed
the broad smile on her face and how she was filled with joy. She was the first
to be elected president of the Kuwait Economic Society. She is also a member of
the Supreme Council of Planning in Kuwait and worked as a consultant to the
Dashti was the only woman MP who stood for
election three times successively before gaining the confidence of the voters in
constituency No. 3 along with her colleague Aseel Alawadi.
Change is our responsibility
She ran the election campaign under the above
slogan, which completes her 2008 election campaign slogan: We can . Under these
two slogans she presented an optimisic image of Kuwaitis whose potential
abilities, which need to be activated through work, she trusted.
She outlined her vision in a brief election
manifesto in which she stressed the need for raising the standard of living of
Kuwaiti families through ownership of investments; amendments to the housing law
enaling citizens to buy houses; encouragement of fair competition, and
antitrust. She also stressed the importance of creating opportunities, improving
the pension scheme by awarding government tenders worth less than KD 2000 to the
youth s small-sized enterprises, and obliging the private sector to award 50% of
government tenders worth over KD 100000 to the same enterprises, and raising
pension ceilings and supplementary salaries to KD 15000 each.
Women had their share in the election manifesto of
the woman who is an outspoken advocate of women s political rights. She called
for protecting women s constitutional rights and gains by opening nurseries in
institutions with over 100 employees, creating a housing fund for single Kuwaiti
women, widows, divorcees and women married to non-Kuwaitis, paying allowances to
custodial mothers, and providing the ingredients for a decent life for the
children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis.
She didn t neglect the health service, either. She
stressed the need for raising the standard of health care and professionals and
upgrading health centres and hospitals. She called for a medical insurance
scheme under which citizens may choose the place of treatment. She also called
for education development and amendments to relevant laws to ensure freedom of
choice of the desirable type of education.
Additionally, Dashti put forward a number of
recommendations, including anti-corruption measures, promotion of transparency
in government agencies through a freedom of access to information law and a new
law for government tenders, as well as a law for revelation of officials
With this overall vision, Dashti introduced
herself in such a way that attracted many citizens who voted for her and gve her
a seat in inparliament. She came in seventh position in her ten-seat
constituency. She was certain of victory, whereas many persons were not sure
that any women will win.
Tears of joy and victory
Dashti was very happy with her women colleagues
victory, and the memorable moment the results were announced, tears were her
first expression of joy, and she said to journalists that that victory was for
all women-activists, housewives, mothers, workers and sisters alike.
She attributed the surprising victory of four
women to Kuwaitis desire for change, having suffered a lot from repeated
political crises because of disagreements between parliament and successive
governments in recent years. Frustration and despair, she said, provided
opportunities if well used. That s what actually happened in Kuwait after he
people were even sceptical about democracy and some called for suspension of the
Dashti said the female candidates their task was
not easy, but voters were powerfully influenced by their discourse which
departed from blame and complaint to future outlook and change, emphasizing that
progress could only be achieved by voters. She pointed out that that discourse
left its mark on people, as women candidates abandoned empty slogans and came up
with solutions to the problems facing Kuwait s future, particularly those
related to the economy and the position of women.
The secret lies in the change
Dashti said: The people of Kuwait have brought
about change, reinforced democracy and made history not that of Kuwait alone but
of women s political action worldwide, as they affirmed their ability to get
into parliament within a short period of winning their political rights without
the quota system or involvement in political parties or groupings. I m
optimistic about the future, and that s what the Kuwaitis wanted: political,
social, economic and financial stability. Contrary to pessimists attitudes, our
future is promising and it requires sacrifices, genuine citizenship, hard work,
a new approach to our issues and constructive dialogue."
Story Four: Salwa Aljassar
The fourth woman MP Dr Salwa Aljassar, may have
been the only real surprise to Kuwaitis in the 2009 elections. In spite of being
a professor of education at Kuwait University, a women s rights activist and
president of Women Empowerment Centre, an NGO, she was not a popular figure in
the media, but only a scholarly academic. Her lovable image represented that of
a traditional Kuwaiti woman who preserves family values as she became involved
in politics and stood for National Assembly elections. Her entire family
supported her and, interestingly and surprisingly, her husband was her campaign
manager, assisted by her brother. That family sight helped her a lot surmount
difficulties in her constituency, the centre of many organized political groups.
She has achieved her objective, winning voters confidence. She stood for
election for the first time in 2008 and polled a considerable number of votes
placing her in an advanced position, but eventually, she did not win.
Salwa Aljassar was born in Kuwait in 1967 and she
completed her studies in the USA, where she was awarded a PhD, after which she
returned to Kuwait and became a professor at Kuwait University Faculty of
Education. She wrote many books and articles on education, curricula, teaching
methods, survival skills, values learning, decision-making, female leaders,
communication skills, trainer education, total quality management, etc.
Challenging the legacies
Aljassar decided to stad for the 2009 elections as
an independent candidate and not to join the many political groups in the
constituency. She pointed out that she stood for the elections out of challenge
to some cultural and social legacies which reject women s involvement in
politics, particularly in view of the pressing need for a positive step towards
such involvement. Her decision to stand for the elections, she said, was not
made in a vacuum but was based on intensive studies, adding that she had a
mission and a clear vision for projects which solve many problems in society.
Asked about her election manifesto she answered
she didn t have one, but her vision may be outlined in: promotion of governance
and good citizenship in order to use all human and material resources for
building a democratic society which is based on equality of opportunity,
enhances development and ensures welfare for citizens and expatriates;
reactivation of reform programmes and facing all challenges to meet future
demands in the context of the rule of law, the spirit of the age local culture,
customs and traditions and citizens social responsibility.
Aljassar addressed Kuwaitis in a message which
observers considered an election manifesto which eventually led her to
parliament. In the message she said that her mission, which took national
requirements, citizens interests and available resources into consideration,
could be realized through stressing state stability and security and educating
nationals to make the best use of their abilities in order to perform their
duties perfectly and consolidate all national gains in the face of all
challenges to internal and external security.
Comprehensive development programmes
Among the key elements in her message were: the
need for drawing up comprehensive development programmes according to the
culture and values of Kuwait s society, preserving Islamic principles, adapting
to current and future transformations; maximum investment in and preparation of
human resources to face cultural, social, economic and political changes;
application of the principle of justice and the policy of equal opportunity, for
men and women especially for the young, based on efficiency and integrity in the
choice of decision-makers and leadership to reform all institutions; drafting
laws and regulations which meet the demands of development; reformulation of all
government programmes based on technology and an overall view of development
She stressed the need for changing the management
style and organization of government agencies in an attempt to diversify
development activities and opportunities based on the standards of total quality
management and anti-corruption to boost production. She also called for
designing work plan schedules for reactivating all basic services
Aljassar recommended that the private sector be
actively engaged in development and reform programmes; reduce unemployment rates
through the diversification of economic and investment activities and
opportunities to create more job opportunities qualitatively and
quantitatively; change the current theoretical methods of education to
practical, functional ones based on state-of-the art technology and diversify
the opportunities of education. She placed special emphasis on the youth, the
real wealth of the nation, and developing their abilities, and on women
empowerment to help them carry out their role in social, political, educational,
economic and legislative development.
Constituency No. 2 candidate concluded her message
calling for giving priority to women in government, parliamentary and private
programmes and directing all laws and government and public sector projects to
serve the interests of the middle class, satisfy their needs and solve their
problems to ensure their well-being.
A historic experiment worldwide
Aljassar came in tenth position, at the bottom of
the list of winners, as according to the electoral system in Kuwait the first
ten winners in each of the five constituencies gain seats in the 50-member
National Assembly, in addition to not more than 16 cabinet ministers. She was
filled with happiness at her and her three colleagues victory when the results
were announced in the early hours of May 17 morning. Newspapers carried a cute
picture showing her making a spontaneous trilling of joy which delighted people.
Aljassar said she was extremely proud of her
victory which she attributed to the fact that it came through the ballot box and
not the quota system, recording women s experiment and sweeping victory in
Kuwait s parliament as a historic one worldwide. The four women candidates have
attained advanced positions and won the confidence of men and women voters from
all walks of life. This demonstrates that all sectors of Kuwait s society, who
were convinced of the thinking of these women, have a common patriotic sense,
however different their ideologies may be, she said.