KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait’s top court has decided that two women lawmakers are not required to wear an Islamic head cover, the official KUNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
An Islamist voter had sought to force parliament members Aseel al-Awadhi and Rola Dashti to cover the heads, citing the Islamic holy book the Koran. Several male MPs had also protested.
“This is not just a victory for myself and my colleague Rola, but a victory for the constitution. Wearing the veil or not does not have an effect on our performance and dedication to serving citizens who elected us,” Awadhi told Reuters.
Women in the Gulf Arab state are not obliged by law to wear head covers although many do. The case was based on an article in election laws that say women candidates and voters should abide by Islam in general terms.
Women in Kuwait, the only Gulf Arab state with a parliament that has full legislative powers, won the right to vote and run in public elections in 2005 but women entered parliament through ballots only this year.
Earlier this month, the Islamic Affairs Ministry issued a non-binding religious opinion advising women politicians to abide by the Islamic dress code.
(Reporting by Eman Goma; Editing by Inal Ersan)