Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A step in the right direction

Via the blog of the American Constitution Society, news of a step in the right direction. They report that women in Kuwait voted (and stood for election) yesterday for the first time in history. It was *only* a by-election for a seat on a Municipal Council, as women missed the opportunity to vote in the main municipal elections because the suffrage bill was delayed, and the election was won by a male candidate, with a woman coming second. But this is a monumentally important step towards real universal suffrage, presaging women's full participation in future elections in a country which is making some tentative steps towards constitutionally based democracy. Reuters reports:

Tuesday's vote paves the way for women to take part in 2007 parliamentary elections, the first since Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah took office in January on the death of his brother. Several women have already announced they would run.

Historic, perhaps, but bizarrely not important enough to receive much coverage in the UK. The Reuters link on the ACS blog did not work, so that led me to make a Google News search on the topic. The only link to UK media that came up on the front page of my search was a very brief one to the Scotsman, which did not cover the result. Only by clicking on "All 152 related" did the BBC report come up.

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