Kuwait allows women to join military in combat and officer roles

Kuwaiti women had previously been restricted to civilian duties

Kuwaiti Marines re-enact the landing at Garouh Island on Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011. Garouh was the first Kuwaiti land liberated from the Iraqi occupying forces who invaded the Emirate during the period of August 2nd, 1990 to February 26th, 1991.The island was liberated in January 25th, 1991 after five hours of battle between coalition forces and Iraqi troops in which the latter were captured and the Kuwaiti flag was raised.(Photo:Gustavo Ferrari/The National)
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Kuwaiti women will be allowed to enlist in the military in combat roles for the first time, the country's defence minister said on Tuesday.

Defence Minister Hamad Jaber Al Sabah said the door had been opened for women to join various combat ranks, including as officers, the Kuwait Armed Forces tweeted.

For years they had been restricted to civilian roles.

“The time has come for Kuwaiti women to be given the opportunity to enter the Kuwaiti military side by side with their brothers,” the minister said in remarks carried by state news agency Kuna.

He expressed confidence in women's capabilities and "[their] willingness of Kuwaiti women to endure the hardship of working in the army … [and in] defending its interests and maintaining its security and stability”.

Kuwaiti women earned the right to vote in 2005 and have been active both in Cabinet and parliament – though there are no women in the current parliament.

Updated: October 13, 2021, 6:25 AM