Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A small step for democracy in the Middle East, a giant leap for Kuwaiti women

Kuwaiti women were finally given the vote yesterday. If I were a Kuwaiti parliamentarian who had fought against this move, I'd be more than worried today -- they will probably be punished by the brand-new voters in the next election, scheduled for 2007.
Although this was first proposed 6 years ago, it's hard to separate this development from the other moves towards more democratic societies in the Middle East. The question now is how long Saudi Arabian women will be content without a vote, now that their female neighbors in Kuwait and Iraq have suffrage?
It's interesting, by the way, to read Kuwaiti blogs today, especially those by women. The sense of excitement and hope towards the future is palpable and honestly makes you grateful for what you've always had. Check out safat.kuwaitblogs.com, the Kuwaiti equivalent of JRants; also interesting to see just how familiar so many of the entries sound -- tivo, sushi, clothes...

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