The country of Kuwait is located in the Middle East, between the countries of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and is bordered by the Persian Gulf. It is roughly the size of New Jersey. The population of Kuwait is a little over two point one million people. Eighty-five percent of Kuwait's population is Muslim, and the remaining fifteen percent are a mixture of Christian, Hindu, and Parsi. Kuwait's primary language is Arabic, but English is also widely spoken. Kuwait is the world's tenth largest oil exporter and oil composes seventy-five percent of the government's annual income. .
One thing that has really caught my interest about Kuwait is the fact that women have many of the same rights as men. Women make up about half of the population and around one third of the Kuwaiti work force (the largest percentage of any country in the Gulf Region) and hold job positions that are not normally available to women in the Middle East. Some of these include positions in the government, oil industry, and even the running of independent businesses. Women also enjoy a central role in their families. They are able to go out and travel on their own, drive cars, get an education (forty to seventy percent of all Kuwaiti University graduates are female, depending on the year), and are allowed to dress any way they want to. It isn't uncommon to see Kuwaiti women dressed in western style clothing walking through the streets of Kuwait's cities. This is an amazing fact to me. Most Arab nations treat their women as property, force them to completely cover themselves in traditional Arab garments, and formal education is all but nonexistent for them. This has really given me a better .
perspective of the fact that Kuwaiti women have it very easy compared to other Arab women around the world. .
The only remaining right that Kuwaiti women haven't gained is the right to vote. In May of 1999 the Amir of Kuwait issued a decree that gave women the right to vote, but it was rejected by the National Assembly in November of that same year.