Report: Kuwait Makes Significant Gains in Women's Rights

Published March 17th, 2010 - 09:47 GMT

Kuwait is making strides in women's rights, says a new study ( released by the influential human rights group Freedom House, on the occasion of International Woman's Day. The study notes that over the past five years, with 18 countries surveyed, Kuwait, Algeria and Jordan have made the most significant progress.

Women in Kuwait now enjoy more economic opportunity, fewer barriers to education, and expanded ability to participate in the political process than they did five years ago. These are the conclusions of "Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Progress Amid Resistance," the study released by Freedom House.

"These findings remind us of the complexities of women's status in the Middle East," said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House. "There are more women entrepreneurs, more women doctors, more women PhDs, and more women in universities, than ever before."

In 2005 in Kuwait women received the right to vote and run in elections as candidates. In 2009, they reached another milestone when four women were elected to the parliament for the first time in the nation's history.

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, in a speech to the United Nations Security Council in September 2008, touted Kuwait's commitment to all human rights. He asserted that the State of Kuwait had already achieved economic and social development and had improved living conditions of Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates.

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