Even though women are not compelled by law to wear headscarves in Kuwait, certain members of the Kuwaiti parliament have been trying to force this issue for some time, focusing their efforts against education minister Nouriya Al Subeeh.
“Kuwaiti MPs walk out of parliament due to female Cabinet members’ attire,” from the Associated Press, June 1:
Muslim hardliners in Kuwait’s parliament have walked out of the body’s inaugural meeting to protest the lack of head scarves for two female Cabinet ministers.
The men left just after lawmakers and ministers started taking the oath of office Sunday. They returned after the women were sworn in. None of the women were wearing long dresses or covering their hair, which Islamists maintain is required by their religion.
Unlike elsewhere in the conservative Gulf, women are not required by law to wear headscarves in Kuwait, though most do.
Almost half of the oil-rich US-ally’s 50-seat legislature are fundamentalist Muslims. No female legislators were elected in recent elections, but the prime minister appointed two to the Cabinet.