In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

June 24, 2008


When I receive email from my friend, I think it's very interesting to post this because as women we have to know what is our right as women in Islam and here is the article come from Middleeast.
Arab women lose again, this time in Kuwait

By Najla Al Awadhi, Special to Gulf News and published on June 06, 2008
For a second time in Kuwait's history, 27 women ran for parliament, and for the second time no Kuwaiti woman was elected.

What followed, was the appointment of two women by the Kuwaiti government to ministerial posts, and while they stood up to take the oath of office, nine parliamentarians from the self proclaimed "Islamist" and "tribal" groups stormed out in protest. They were claiming that the women ministers were in breach of the electoral laws, because they were not wearing the hijab (headscarf).

Kuwait's Islamist and tribal groups, who now dominate the parliament, have always opposed the presence of women in political office.

I followed the Kuwaiti elections and the debates with much interest. What amused me was the dialogue of whether Kuwaiti women were experienced enough to run for parliament, and what amazed me was the impassioned objection to women's participation from many who claimed that Islam and our traditions do not allow women to run for high political posts.

This took me back to over 1,400 years ago to a time in Arabia where it was common practice to bury alive female children as a precaution to avoid family shame, at a time where a man could marry a hundred wives and discard them with impunity, because a woman was akin to property.

It was in this age there lived a woman who was a widow and a trader. In her employment there was a kind, diligent, trustworthy man, 20 years her junior, and eventually she would ask him for his hand in marriage.
Can you imagine me asking for a man's hand in marriage today, 20 years my junior and the scandal that would cause? Some men even today are not comfortable with the idea of working for a woman. Yet this was Arabia over 1,400 years ago; the man in this story is the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him); and the woman in this story was his wife Khadija.

When the Prophet received his first revelation from the Angel Gabriel, he was overwhelmed with fear. It was Khadija who stood by him and calmed him and told him it was a sign of prophecy. Khadija was anything but conventional or submissive. She was bold, intelligent, kind and strong willed, and for the Prophet of Islam, she was the perfection of a woman.


Her legacy is a message to all Muslims that women have not been created to be submissive or marginalised. Like a man, a woman must be the master of her own destiny and an active and equal partner in striving to develop more humane societies. This means being active in all spheres of life, including the political sphere where public policy is shaped.

So if Khadija was the perfection of a Muslim/Arab woman and if we were to build upon her legacy in terms of empowering women in our age, then why are we here in the Arab World in 2008 with not even one woman elected into Kuwait's parliament?

Partially, because we as women don't have enough faith in the ability of our sisters to lead, and this is due to our own self-ignorance and the lack of true solidarity between Arab and Muslim women in our societies.

In addition, it's partially because many men still view women's ability and role as limited. Also, many in their interpretations believe that religiously and traditionally a woman's place is outside the political sphere and preferably confined to the home.

Quota systems are a part of the solution to empowerment and gender equity, but greater than that is the need for the mass comprehension in our societies that the empowerment of women is not about women's rights or feminism.

The empowerment of women is a legacy Islam has granted us. It is an issue of human rights and primarily of survival which is linked to our region's goals of economic and sustainable development.

When you look at our population today, when you look at the demographics and the shrinking number of our citizens in many parts of the Gulf, you begin to realise that we need to be aggressive about empowering and tapping into all our human capital, regardless of gender, with a strict focus on ability and potential. This naturally gives us greater resources in our journey towards sustainable development.

So in the footsteps of the wife of the Prophet, I hope we as Muslims and Arabs will remember her legacy when we make judgments about the role of women in our society. I hope too that our Kuwaiti sisters will persevere, because I have always believed, that yes, a woman's place is at home but at the same time, it is also in the parliament.

Najla Al Awadhi is a member of the Federal National Council, Deputy CEO Dubai Media Incorporated and General Manager of Dubai One TV.

link to
http://www.Muslimah Media, and you have to read.

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