Gulf | Kuwait

Historic first time vote for Kuwaiti women

Kuwaiti women flocked to the polling stations on Thursday as they made history by voting and running as candidates for the first time in the Arab state?s elections.

  • Agencies
  • Published: 00:00 June 29, 2006
  • Gulf News

Kuwaiti women flocked to the polling stations on Thursday as they made history by voting and running as candidates for the first time in the Arab state's elections.

Female candidate Hind Al Shaikh said, "I don't know how to describe my feelings, I am so happy, it's a beautiful day as women practice their right. I hope a woman makes it."

Twenty-eight women out of 250 candidates are standing for election after parliament passed a law giving women the right to vote and stand as candidates in May 2005, each desperately hoping to gain a place in the 50-seat National Assembly.

"I feel I am going to cry of happiness because it's a historic moment for Kuwait ... I hope a woman can make it," said Diaa Al Saad, 55, one of the first women to vote in Jabriya.

Fifty-year-old candidate, Nabila Al Anjari, told Reuters at a polling station in Jabriya constituency: "I hope all Kuwait women go out and vote and each woman has to give her vote to another woman."

Both men and women braved the souring heat to exercise their right to vote, in separate polling stations, amid billboards which read: "Practice your right, let your voice be heard... take part in the election."

Some campaigners gave out roses, while others handed out bottles of water with candidate's pictures.

After casting her vote in Da'iya, Thuraya Al Qallaf said, "This is a day of big joy for Kuwaiti women, that's why we are here early."

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