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16th May officially declared as Kuwaiti Womens Day

Kuwait has declared 16th May as Kuwaiti Womens Day, and plans an annual celebration on the day.

The annual day has been approved by the government, and has been recommended by the committee for educational, cultural, social and health committee. The recommendation was based on a proposal by the committee for women’s affairs.

The Cabinet, revealing the approval of the proposal, called upon all official institutions to extend complete support to consolidate the status of Kuwaiti women at all levels and boost their role within the community to reach an outstanding local, regional and international status.

The 16th of May has been celebrated by Kuwait women and supporters of political rights as a breakthrough, following the passing of a bill by the Parliament in 2005, which gave women the right to vote and also to stand as candidate in legislative and municipal elections.

But, women fared poorly in 2006 during the first parliamentary elections, when they were allowed to cast their ballots and run for seats. However, on 17th May 2009, four women were elected to the National Assembly, which is a historic development for a country that established the first parliament in the region.

According to Kuwaiti officials, women constitute 70 percent of university students, and 40 percent of Kuwaiti workforce. Women have made a strong presence in all professional fields including medicine, education, media, banking and public sectors.

Bahrain and Tunisia are other Arab countries that have a national day for women. March 8th is celebrated annually as International Women’s Day.

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