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'Good luck ladies': Kuwait exclusively appoints men to its Women's Committee

The committee has been widely criticised online, forcing Kuwait's precarious position on gender equality back into the spotlight
Members of Kuwait's Parliamentary Women's Committee (Screengrab/ twitter)

The newly appointed, all-male parliamentary Women's Committee of Kuwait has been met with ridicule and disbelief online since its formation on Wednesday.

The official Kuwaiti electronic newspaper, which is licensed by the country's Ministry of Information, tweeted the news of the new members. 

The committee is made up of Saleh Theyab al-Mutairi, Osama Ahmad al-Munawer and Osama Essa al-Shaheen.

Some social media users reacted to the news with despondency:

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Translation: This should be called the committee for the exclusion of women. 

Meanwhile, others approached the situation with humour:

Translation: 2020, that’s enough.

Kuwait has a semi-democratic political system made up of two branches: the elected parliament and the appointed government.

The parliament, which in Kuwait is called the National Assembly, is elected by the people and is made up of 50 members, who hold their position for a four-year term.

This year, of the 29 female candidates who ran for the general elections, which took place on 5 December, none were elected, giving Kuwait an all-male parliament.

It was not until 2005 that women gained suffrage in Kuwait, having fought for this right for decades, including initiating nonviolent action that saw 500 women stop working for one hour in 1996.

Kuwait ranks 122 of 153 globally in terms of gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Gender Gap Report

In comparison to Middle Eastern and North African countries, however, Kuwait ranks third for gender equalities, after Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

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