On Tuesday, the Kuwaiti army announced that women will now be able to join combat roles after years of being restricted to only civilian roles. The door had been opened for women to join various ranks in the military, including officers, said Defense Minister Hamad Jaber al-Ali al-Sabah.
In remarks reported by the state news agency KUNA, the minister said that Kuwaiti women should be given the opportunity to join the Kuwaiti military alongside their male counterparts. The minister expressed confidence in women’s ‘ability to endure hardship and their capabilities’.
Since 2005, Kuwaiti women have been able to vote and have had opportunities to participate in parliament and in cabinet – even though they have yet to gain seats in the current parliament. As in other Gulf countries, Kuwait’s parliaments have extensive legislative power. Members of the legislature of the country often challenge the government and royal leaders.