Women return to Kuwait parliament for first time since 2020

Twenty-two women stood for office in Thursday's election

Alia Al Khaled celebrates with her supporters following her victory in Kuwait's parliamentary election. AFP
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Women have returned to Kuwait's Parliament after two years without a female MP.

Jenan Bushehri and Alia Al Khaled were elected as part of the opposition, who won the majority of seats in the election on Thursday. Twenty-two women stood for office, out of 305 candidates.

The two are the first women to sit in Parliament since Safa Al Hashem lost her seat in 2020.

Of the 50 seats up for election, 28 were won by opposition candidates as 20 former MPs were ousted, including three former ministers.

Kuwait has never had more than four women MPs in office at the same time.

The elections had been hailed as "democracy's wedding" and a chance for real change to take place.

Voters had voiced hopes for more women MPs. Kuwaiti women earned the right to vote in 2005 and have been active both in Cabinet and parliament.

Kuwait appointed four women to its municipal council for the first time in June, setting a "historic precedent".

Kuwait's parliament is 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 on issues.

The government recently launched a campaign against voter manipulation, boosting public faith in the electoral process.

Updated: September 30, 2022, 11:12 AM