GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct 14 – Kuwaiti women struggled for decades with patience and perseverance, until they secured their political rights, voting and running for elections, National Assembly Speaker, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, said.

Al-Ghanim made the statement in his speech, at a general discussion session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 131st Assembly in Geneva today, focusing on gender equality and ending violence against women, among other issues.

He said that, Kuwait had a long experience on the way of granting women their political rights. Perseverance, patience and strong belief in the cause characterised the struggle, he added.

There were many setbacks on the way, but finally the historical day, May 16, 2005, came, and the Kuwaiti women were granted their political rights, he noted.

Al-Ghanim also referred to women’s struggle worldwide to obtain their rights, which witnesses unfavourable conditions, setbacks and sluggishness, but the march advances, as “inevitable.”

What was achieved, regarding women’s rights over the past 100 years, was revolutionary and rapid, compared to long ages of indolence and stagnation, the Kuwaiti chief Parliamentarian said.

In spite of all this, the international community has to consider the problems and concerns women still suffer, he noted.

Al-Ghanim stressed the necessity of ending all forms of violence against women, physical and verbal, domestic, violence at work, on the street and at the time of war and armed conflicts.

He warned off procrastination in granting women such basic rights. He also referred to the conditions of women in the Middle East and the Arab world.

The events in Syria and north-west Iraq offer daily examples of the violence and aggression against women, and also children, he said.

What afflicts women in the Mideast conflicts, brings shame upon the international community, UN, super powers, international human rights organisations, jurists, politicians, intellectuals, and religious figures, he stressed.

He concluded by urging an internationally organised action to address the file of violence against women.