Sunday, May 17, 2009

One Small Step for Women…

Did you hear the news that Kuwait has finally elected its first women MPs? Amazing I suppose, isn’t it? Let me say to the male chauvinists in Kuwait, ‘welcome to the 21st century!’

Here is a country that the supposed champions of democracy and human rights, the United States, went to so-called ‘liberate’ during what I understand was the first Gulf War. And in ‘liberating’ the country, the Americans brought back the same despotic and anti-democratic regime that had ruled the country prior to its invasion by Saddam Hussein. So where it should have been insisting on a ‘new’ Kuwait where there would be progress on fundamental questions of human rights, the Americans simply helped restore, what is by most accounts, the anti-thesis of a democracy.   

Mind you, as recently as 2005 the so-called parliament of Kuwait had voted to deny women the right to vote! So you can imagine just how dramatic it must seem to have the country actually elect women to its parliament. I suppose just maybe, some of these societies can begin to appreciate that it’s just not right to seal off one half of humanity from being full-fledged members of society. It is about time we all woke up to this fact.

I suppose you can consider this recent development in Kuwait as one small step for women and one giant leap for mankind.

G. Krishnan