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Kuwait Parliament Grants Voting Rights to Women


Kuwait's parliament has approved an amendment to the emirate's elections law granting women the right to vote and run for public office.

With Western journalists in attendance, the measure passed Monday by a 35-to-23 margin, with only one abstention.

Moments after the historic vote tally, women in the gallery leapt to their feet to cheer and applaud.

The vote came just two weeks after the legislation stalled when about 30 of 60 lawmakers abstained from voting on the measure in its second reading. The legislation needed 33 votes to pass.

The amendment automatically allows women to vote in and run for both municipal councils and parliament.

Islamist and tribal lawmakers had campaigned against the measure, claiming that Islamic teachings bar women from participating in political life.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.