The National Assembly elections took place on Saturday in Kuwait despite the coronavirus and the rain. We walked to polling stations to make our voices heard, to serve our country. As for me, I walked twice guys, because at first I mistakenly took the old brown-colored nationality card and queued for an hour before realizing that I had brought the wrong one. Back to the house, queued again and finally cast my vote. I was delighted and encouraged to see so many women – young, old, modern, with hijab, without hijab – dedicated to queuing and casting their votes.
Then I woke up yesterday morning to the terrible news that not even a single woman made it to the Abdullah Al-Salem hall. Is this fair? Is this right? And whose fault is it? I don’t blame the men, honestly speaking. I put the blame directly on our shoulders. I call it a betrayal – self-betrayal.
Women form the majority of the electorate. We comprise 51.7 percent of voters and yet we couldn’t choose one woman candidate in each area? Debating with some of my friends over this issue, I was shocked by their opinion. They said none of the female candidates who ran deserved to win a seat. Excuse me?! All the men who won seats deserve it; really?
Don’t we need at least one female voice among all the men to represent our concerns? What a shame!
To men, the parliament now looks like a men’s club. Unfortunately, Kuwait was one of the pioneers in women’s leadership. Our women are better educated, are well-traveled and are business leaders. Many of our women are doctors, engineers, architects and entrepreneurs. Our civil service is full of women working in every level and every field, and they have proven themselves.
I don’t want to say better than men and sound like I’m discriminating. But women in Kuwait are doing very well in every field and industry. Even in the dark days of the invasion, women proved themselves to be powerful, perseverant and capable.
Not one of Kuwait’s women deserved a seat in parliament? Do we need to follow other countries that set quotas for women in every constituency? Maybe that is what it will take.