Kuwait appoints four women as members of the municipal council

Historic move designed to empower females in the Gulf state

Officials assemble for a session of Kuwait's National Assembly in Kuwait City.  AP
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The Kuwaiti Cabinet approved a draft decree on Tuesday to appoint women as members of the municipal council for the first time.

The Cabinet said the move will empower Kuwaiti women, who have taken leading positions in various fields and have contributed to the state's economic development, but have often not held senior government positions.

Sharifa Al Shalfan, Alyaa Al Faresi, Munira Al Amir and Farah Al Roumi will join the council in session later this month.

Rana Al Fares, Kuwait’s Minister of Municipality, said the move sets a “historic precedent”.

“The appointments show the necessity of empowering Kuwaiti women by selecting those who are skilled and qualified and to help them practise their role in the council,” Ms Al Fares said in a statement.

In 2009, four women won seats in Kuwait’s 50-member Parliament, the most powerful elected body in a Gulf state.

The country's National Assembly enjoys legislative power, and politicians have been known to challenge the government and royalty on some issues.

In March, the government resigned more than a month after it was officially formed because of internal political turmoil.

The Cabinet was formed three times in the space of a year after Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah issued several decrees to establish his government.

The first was in December 2020, followed by decrees in March 2021 and December 2021.

The Cabinet resigned twice in January 2021 and in November 2021.

Updated: June 01, 2022, 12:08 PM