Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Women's Rights and Democracy

As Kuwaiti women celebrate their new freedom, many in the United Arab Emirates think maybe they should be next. Seeing the story, however, reminded me that my earlier comment about how only Saudi Arabia denies women the right to vote leaves out that fact that the UAE doesn't have elections at all. Meanwhile, this article quotes a bunch of democracy activists in other Arab countries as saying that the Kuwaiti move represents an important step for the whole region. However, if you look at what happened, it's pretty clear this came from the Emir, and probably wouldn't have happened without him. This shows the tension in which liberal democracy activists sometimes find tension between their political and social reform agendas.


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