Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the Al-Sabah family since1756. It was the first of the Arab Gulf monarchies (GCC) to have an elected parliament, but more than two-thirds of the people living in Kuwait  do not hold Kuwaiti citizenship and cannot vote in parliamentary elections.

Although Kuwait generally scores high in gender equality rankings such as the Global Gender Gap Report , it was not until 2005 that women were granted full political rights. Thus, the May 2009 parliamentary election marked a breakthrough in Kuwaiti politics with 195,000 women voting and four of the twenty-eight women who ran for seats in the parliament elected.

They succeed in doing so without organized political party support them or a quota system. From the beginning of 2011 Kuwaitis demonstrated for government reforms, resulting in the government’s resignation in November 2011. 

Kuwait’s political crisis worsened in 2012, as the emir dissolved the results of the February parliamentary elections in June and decreed a new electoral law in October, resulting in protests by tens of thousands of Kuwaitis and an opposition boycott of the December elections.

The 1962 constitution provides men and women with equal rights. Nevertheless, women face discrimination in several areas of law and society and remain underrepresented in the workforce, although with a significantly higher participation than other Arab states.



Total population


Female population


Total 0-14 years


Total 15-64 years


Total 65 years and over

34,343 (2015 est.) 

Life expectancy at birth (women, 2013)

76 years

Fertility rate  (2012)

2.6 children/woman 

Total literacy rate  (2015 est.)


Total literacy rate among females  (2015 est.)


School life expectancy ( primary to tertiary education, 2004)

15 years

Female enrolment at higher education


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