Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Arab women roundup

Two Saudi Shura members back calls to allow women to drive - Gulf News: "The two members said the presence of a foreign driver with a woman in a car poses more serious problems than allowing women to drive by themselves. They argued that from a religious perspective a foreign man is not allowed to be with a woman."

Kuwait grants women the right to vote - Gulf News: "Prime Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah told reporters that he planned to name a woman minister. "I congratulate the women of Kuwait for having achieved their political rights," he said. The amendment, which was finalised after several years of debate and struggle by Kuwaiti women, passed by a vote of 35 MPs for, 23 against and one abstention."

Kuwait women get vote, finally - Publius Pundit

7DAYS - Women get the vote - 7DAYS: "Islamist and tribal legislators had fiercely campaigned against women's suffrage on the grounds that Islamic teachings bar women from participating in political life. The amendment of Article One of the electoral law automatically allow women to vote and run for both the municipal council and parliament. The article, dating to 1962, limited the right to vote to men. It was deemed out of step with the emirate's constitution which stipulates equality of the sexes."

Accusations Fly as Probe Into Makkah Dorm Fire Continues - Arab News: "all the building’s windows were blocked from the outside with steel shutters which prevented the girls from opening the windows to let the smoke out. Besides being a safety hazard and creating an unhealthy environment with no air or light coming in, the girls complained that the shutters made them feel like prisoners. The firefighters had to break or remove the shutters in order to reach the girls and bring them down the ladders. “The shutters are to protect the girls from intruders but the way they were installed is wrong; they should be installed about half-a-meter away from the windows to allow them to open a little,” said Maj. Ziad Al-Zaidi of the Civil Defense Department."

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