In 2005, after decades of advocacy, Kuwaiti women were fully enfranchised, and, less than a year later, 32 women ran for parliament when the emir unexpectedly dissolved the National Assembly and called for snap elections a year earlier than scheduled. Though none of the women candidates were elected, many ran effective and professional campaigns and the elections drew national and international media attention to their role.
After running as candidates in the snap parliamentary elections in 2006 and again in 2008 without winning any seats, four women were elected to the parliament in 2009 with a larger margin of victory than most observers expected. In parliament, the women MPs were the driving force behind the drafting and passage of a new labor law, which stipulated regulations surrounding working conditions and workers’ rights, especially those for women. During this period, Kuwaiti women also won the right to acquire their own passports and travel freely without their husbands’ consent.
In 2004, NDI helped advocates for women's political rights develop an effective strategy to win universal suffrage. NDI met with leaders in the suffrage movement, held consultations with Kuwaiti women activists and provided women with advocacy tools specifically targeted at passage of the women’s suffrage legislation. Following the announcement granting women the right to vote and run for office, NDI held its fourth Partners in Participation Regional Campaign School in Kuwait. More than 70 women activists and leaders from 15 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including 20 Kuwaiti women, met to share their experiences, learn how to run successful political campaigns and help to build a regional network of women with the skills to succeed in politics over the long term.
It gives us a great pleasure to welcome you to Women’s Cultural Social & Society website . We hope that, through this website, we will showcase the achievements of Kuwaiti women through the Society’s activities.
The WCSS strongly believes in the importance of women’s participation in all aspects of society, be it social, cultural, economic, or political. Through our activities, we have ensured that the name of the Kuwaiti woman stays synonymous with respect for the equality, fairness, justice, and human rights. We have been the leaders in women’s causes for the past forty years, and we intend to continue our stride towards the progress and development of women for many years to come.
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