world
Tuesday Oct 12 2021
By
AFP

Kuwait allows women to serve military in combat roles

By
AFP
Kuwaits female security personnel in the National Assembly. Photo — Kuwait Times/file
Kuwait's female security personnel in the National Assembly. Photo — Kuwait Times/file

  • Kuwaiti women had been restricted only to civilian roles in the army for years.
  • Kuwaiti defence minister says the door had been opened for women to join various combat ranks.
  • Expresses confidence in women's "capabilities... and their ability to endure hardship".


KUWAIT CITY: Kuwaiti army Tuesday said that women will be allowed to join the military in combat roles for the first time after years of having been restricted only to civilian roles in the army.

Defence Minister Hamad Jaber al-Ali al-Sabah said the door had been opened for women to join various combat ranks, including as officers, the Kuwait Armed Forces tweeted.

"The time has come for Kuwaiti women to be given the opportunity to enter the Kuwaiti military side by side with their brothers," the minister said in remarks carried by state news agency KUNA.

He expressed confidence in women's "capabilities... and their ability to endure hardship".

Kuwaiti women earned the right to vote in 2005 and have been active both in cabinet and parliament — though they did not gain any seats in the current parliament.

Unlike other Gulf countries, Kuwait's parliament enjoys legislative power and lawmakers have been known to challenge the government and royals.