Kuwaiti society still ‘male dominated’ – Women’s society holds symposium


KUWAIT: The 2012 Parliament is without any woman MP. This is a disappointment for most people, especially as the last Parliament had four women MPs, which was a historical record in Kuwait. Women only got their political rights in 2005. To discuss the reason behind the failure of women in the last elections, the Women’s Cultural Society held a symposium on Wednesday titled ‘Who is Behind the Woman’s Absence in the 2012 Parliament’.
Dr Rana Abdulrazzaq expressed her disappointment at not having even one women candidate pass the elections. “If we compare the performance of male MPs and female MPs, the women were much more productive. They were attending committees in Parliament, they proposed law drafts, their dialogue was more polite, and they carried out many projects. Women MPs participated in passing a law in favor of women, especially the housing care law,” she stated.
She spoke about the reasons that women failed from her point of view. “Although some female candidates were competing with male candidates and achieved a good number of votes, none of them passed. This is due to the general atmosphere of the elections. Women candidates did not participate in the tribal or sect coalitions. They did not use impolite dialogue and shouting like the men did. We witnessed some new young candidates who won, and this was due to their coalition with the Salafi faction,” added Dr Rana.
Ibraheem Al-Mulaifi said any analysis after resolving Parliament is not accurate. “We need psychological analyses more than election analyses in this issue. The change is not only in Parliament but in the Government as well, as there are no women ministers. At the end, their failure was the choice of the people and we respect the opinion of voters who have chosen their candidates,” he said.
He agreed with Dr Rana that the women MPs were more productive and attended more sessions in the last Parliament. “Women participated in political life even before getting their political rights. Masouma Al-Mubarak, for instance, was a minister in 2003, and Nouria Al-Subeih was a minister as well. I think there is a general ignorance of the issue of women in the community. I wonder where are those who were defending women’s rights. I advise women to go to protest at Determination Square as they have no place in Parliament with the complete absence of women MPs,” Al-Mulaifi added.
Dr Khadeeja Al-Mahmeed insisted that Kuwaiti society is still a male dominated society. “I see the main reason for the failure of women in this Parliament as the male culture. The way is still long for us women, as the community still preserves old social traditions which prefer and empower men. I think that this is an experience and woman here should not stand. She should be optimistic,” she stated.
By Nawara Fattahova, Staff Writer