Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kuwaiti Women May Obtain Passports without Husbands' Consent

by Malavika Balachandran

This Wednesday, Kuwaiti women finally gained the right to obtain their own passports without the consent of their husbands, according to AP. Prior to this ruling by the Kuwaiti constitutional court, a woman could not get a passport unless her husband signed the application.

After receiving complaints that many women could not leave the country because their husbands would not permit it, the court reviewed the passport policy. It decided just this week that the policy violated women's right to gender equality in the Kuwaiti constitution.

This is one of many signs of progress in the Middle East. More Middle Eastern women are becoming politically active; just this May, several women became members of Parliament in Kuwait. As more women are becoming literate, the pressure for gender equality grows. Through education and political involvement, the Middle East will continue to move towards civil equality.

Photo of Kuwait City from Ikarus Kuwait's flickr.

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