Monday, October 20, 2008

No Hijab - No Office

From The Australian:
"The appointment of two Kuwaiti women ministers breached the constitution and the law because they do not wear the hijab headscarf, a panel in Kuwait's conservative parliament ruled today.

"The committee unanimously decided that appointing the two ministers in the cabinet violated article 82 of the constitution and article one of the election law for failing to abide by Islamic regulations," Ali al-Hajeri MP, spokesman for the Legal and Legislative Committee, said.

The four members of the seven-person panel who attended the meeting are all Islamists or tribals. The remaining three are liberal-leaning MPs.

The two female members of government - Education Minister Nuriya al-Sebih and state minister for housing and administrative development Mudhi al-Humoud - were appointed to the cabinet following the May 17 general elections.

If the panel's decision is approved by parliament, MPs can either call on the prime minister to dismiss the two ministers or take a more serious action of grilling the two women as a prelude to voting them out of office.

At its first meeting on June 1, parliament, which is dominated by Islamists and tribal conservatives, voted to refer the case of the two ministers to the committee to establish if they broke the law.

As cabinet members took the oath on that day, nine Islamist and tribal MPs walked out of parliament in protest at the two women's failure to wear the Islamic headscarf.

The oil-rich Gulf emirate's election law requires women to "abide by Islamic regulations while voting or contesting the elections".

Kuwaiti women were granted political rights in May 2005. Fifty-four female candidates contested the last two general elections but none was elected.

As well as its 50 elected members, the Kuwaiti parliament also comprises 15 cabinet ministers."

No comments: