FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Blue Revolution – Kuwaiti Women Gain Suffrage

This week in nonviolent history commemorates the successful conclusion of Kuwait’s Blue Revolution. On May 17th, 2005, Kuwaiti women gained suffrage after more than 40 years of struggle. The women used a wide variety of approaches to achieve their goals, including lobbying, introducing repeated legislation, protests and demonstration, marches, rallies, and mock elections.

Like many women’s suffrage movements around the world, the Kuwaiti women escalated their actions and campaigns, shifting from legislative and legal efforts into nonviolent direct action. The history of their multi-decade effort is complex, spanning from the 1960s when Kuwait won independence from the United Kingdom, through the Iraqi occupation in 1990-1991, and onward another 15 years until a series of nonviolent actions, changing political climate, and increased pressure finally won the vote for the women of Kuwait.

The movement first began to apply bolder methods of nonviolent action in 1996 when 500 women stopped working for an hour to demand suffrage. Then, as the Global Nonviolent Action Database reports, “In 2002, several women held a demonstration near two voter registration centers in Kuwait. The demonstrators waved banners outside the two centers, but were eventually asked to leave. Kuwaiti women continued to be very assertive in 2003. There were reports of demonstrations involving more than 1,000 women in a country with a total population of two million. The campaign also unsuccessfully sued both the Minister of the Interior and the Speaker of Parliament. During the elections of 2003, women established mock ballots that allowed hundreds of women to cast symbolic votes for real candidates.”

In March of 2005, after highly visible and captivating actions, 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside of the Kuwaiti parliament to continue their demand for basic voting rights. Many women wore pale blue to represent the struggle for suffrage, leading to the moniker, “The Blue Revolution.” On May 17th, Kuwaiti parliament passed the long-awaited suffrage bill, granting women the right to vote and run for elected office.

The Blue Revolution is part of the Color Revolutions, a series of nonviolent movements that erupted from the 1970s to present day, with a peak in the late 90s and early 2000s. These movements include, the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, the People Power Revolution (also known as the Yellow Revolution) in the Philippines, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the Denim Revolution in Belarus, the Green Revolution in Iran, among many others. The use of identifiable colors and symbols was often used as an intentional tactic of solidarity and visible protest.

More articles by:

Rivera Sun is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and other books, and the cofounder of the Love-In-Action Network.

Weekend Edition
July 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Peter Linebaugh
Police and the Wealth of Nations: Déjà Vu or Unfinished Business?
Rob Urie
Class, Race and Power
John Davis
A Requiem for George Floyd
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mutiny of the Bounties!
Richard D. Wolff
Revolutionary Possibilities: Could U.S. Capitalism Turn Nationalist?
Richard Falk
When Rogue States Sanction the International Criminal Court
Louis Proyect
Smearing Black Lives Matter…From the Left
Ralph Nader
Trump and Pence – Step Aside for Professional Pandemic Scientists and Managers
Ramzy Baroud
Tearing Down the Idols of Colonialism: Why Tunisia, Africa Must Demand French Apology
Philippe Marlière
Challenging the French Republic’s Color-Blindness
Richard C. Gross
Attack, Deny
Lee Camp
Connecting the Dates – US Media Used To Stop The ‘Threat’ of Peace
Steve Martinot
The Desire to Kill
David Yearsley
The War on Kitsch
Amy Eva Alberts Warren – Rev. William Alberts
Why are Certain Christians Democratic and Others Authoritarian?
Lawrence Davidson
Covid Madness
Brian Cloughley
Britain’s Disorder and Decline
Ellen Taylor
The US Military Has Its Knee on the Throat of the World
David Rosen
White Nationalists on the Attack
Jeff Cohen
Politicians of Color Should Not be Immune From Criticism
Joseph Natoli
Drawn Away from Reality in Plain View
Frank Joyce
Give Me Liberty,  Give You Death
Jonah Raskin
My Adventures in the Matriarchy
Paul Street
The Racist Counter-Revolution of 1776
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Corruption of the Democratic Party: Talking to Ted Rall about his new book
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Record on Foreign Policy: Lost Wars, New Conflicts and Broken Promises
Paul Edwards
A Bridge Too Far
Jennifer Joan Thompson
How to Do Things With Theses: Chile’s National Police Force Sues the Feminist Artistic Collective, Las Tesis
Shawn Fremstad
Vacations for All!
Thomas Knapp
A Modest Proposal for Compromise on “Confederate” Military Bases
Vijay Prashad, Eduardo Viloria Daboín, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC
Venezuela’s Borderlands Have Been Assaulted by COVID-19
Thom Hartmann
COVID Masks: The Latest Faux Conservative Outrage
Jesse Jackson
Mandatory College Football Practices in Time of Pandemic are Nuts
Nicholas Vincenzo Barney
Consensus Politics on the Fringe: The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Intellectual Dark Web
Ted Rall
The Data is Clear: Progressives Should Boycott Biden
Joshua Tartakovsky
Sergei Khrushchev: An Eulogy from His Close Student
Theresa Church
In Reconsidering ‘Normalcy’ Genetically Engineered Trees Do Not Belong
Chelsea Carrick
Let’s Not Lose Momentum
Adam Rissien
Sorry Secretary Perdue, Our National Forests are Not Crops
Paul Gilk
A Few Theoretical Percentages
Thomas S. Harrington
“New Corona Cases”:  A Phrase That’s Tells us Very Little, if Anything,  About the Actual Levels of Danger We  Face
Claire Chadwick
I Got COVID-19 at Work. I Won’t be the Last
George Wuerthner
The Upper Green River Should be a National Park, Not a Feedlot
Julian Vigo
Profiteering in the Era of COVID-19
Ravi Mangla
Policing is Not a Public Good
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail