Prosperous and possessed of a spirited parliament, Kuwait has prided itself on being a standard setter among the Arab monarchies on the Persian Gulf. With respect to women's rights, however, today Kuwait ranks just above Saudi Arabia.
Iraqi women must have an active role in shaping the future of their country and Iraqi authorities must take effective measures to protect women and to change discriminatory legislation that encourages violence against them.
It is very likely that governments will adopt a political declaration at the close of the BPfA review (Feb 28-Mar 11). The sign-on letter below calls for governments to support full reaffirmation and implementation of the BPfA.
Saudi Arabia has held its first elections of any kind for 40 years. Women had expected to have the vote: six even put their names forward as candidates. But, in one of the world's most repressive societies, they were banned from the poll.