The following are excerpts from an interview with Kuwaiti MP Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabai, aired by Dubai TV on April 29, 2005.
Interviewer: Kuwait is the first country in the region to have an elected parliament, civil liberties, and a free press. By the standard set by the Gulf countries, and even most Arab countries, Kuwaiti society is very open. How come women's rights have been delayed so much?
Dr. Walid Al-Tabtabai: Since the parliament has a lot of freedom and could even be called democratic, the so-called women's political rights have been delayed. If the Arab peoples had the opportunity to express their opinion, they would object to the woman being shoved into politics, into the democratic game, and into elections, because this is not appropriate to women's role in Arab societies. However, if the decision is imposed from above, like in some countries, such as Qatar, Bahrain, and
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