Kuwait Society for Human Rights is working on spreading the culture of respect for human rights and to promote awareness of international human rights instruments and the defense of all individuals whose human rights are violated, and in the framework of the society that keen to protect and promote these rights.
The Society in this report is presenting the most important developments and changes that have occurred for women’s rights in Kuwait since 2010 until the date of this report, is also demanding that the society through this report a number of reforms in line with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), This report has been prepared in accordance with the following criteria:
â– Recommendations accepted by the Kuwaiti government when submitted its third and fourth report to the Committee of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Fifteenth session 2011.
â– Adapted the local laws to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
â– The recommendations of the workshops carried out by the Society.
â– Complaints received by the Society.
â– Violations that are monitored by the Society through the monitoring teams.
â– Studies and research conducted by the society. We will try through this report to address the most important issues related to women as following.
Nationality Act: Although the Kuwaiti Constitution has been stated in Article (29) states that: (People are equal in human dignity, and they are equal in the law in public rights and duties, it does not discriminate because of sex, origin, language or religion).
However, the reality is reflected in the presence of Kuwaiti legislator legislated laws distinguished between men and women based on sex, such as the Nationality act No. 15 of 1959. In Article (2) states that the Kuwaiti person who is born in Kuwait or abroad for a Kuwaiti father ruling out the Kuwaiti women to pass their nationality to their children as men.
Therefore the law rested on blood right of the Father without any limitation or condition while the mother’s right restricted by conditions where the text in Article (3) she has the right to grant citizenship to her son if the unknown father or the proportion did not prove to his father .
In addition, giving the nationality to her son here is subject to the discretionary authority of the minister of interior. As well as in paragraph (2) of Article (5), which stipulated that the Son of Kuwaiti women married to foreigners to keep residency until reaching the age of puberty if his father was a foreign war prisoner, or divorced his mother irrevocable divorce, or died and here over a period 5 years is required, and also gives the right to the authority of the Minister of the Interior.
As that of Article (8) of the same law gave the man the right for granting the nationality to his foreign wife without giving this right to the Kuwaiti women. From the above, we find that this law is contrary in some of its articles with paragraph (2) of Article (9) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the reservation by Kuwait, as the issue of citizenship is a matter of sovereignty in government’s view.
Also, deprived the Kuwaiti women who married to foreigners the right to grant citizenship to their children seriously effects where the children cannot get the right to the inheritance of their mother in immovable funds (like real estate.
The reason is not to allow foreign ownership in Kuwait, and in spite of allowing their children to occupy certain public jobs and admission to military and the Ministry of Interior; however, they paid less than their fellow citizens did in the same work.
Recommendations: Enable Kuwaiti woman to grant her children citizenship without restriction or condition. Granting the right of the Kuwaiti woman to grant her nationality to her foreign husband’s as men. The society recommends the need to harmonize the national legislation with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Allow the children of the Kuwaiti women to have a legacy of their mother immovable money such as real estate funds, according to the Kuwaiti Personal Status Law No. 51 of 1984 in its articles 288 289, which showed the terms of inheritance. Equality in the salaries of the children of the Kuwaiti women with their fellow citizens, in application of the principle of salary in exchange for the effort and not based on the nationality.
Domestic violence: We can say that the phenomenon of violence against women has become a problem in the Kuwaiti society, especially the domestic violence because of the aggravation of this problem without finding any good solutions.
The doer who is assaulting a reassuring not to hold him accountable because of the prevailing stereotypes in society, but not to adopt the Kuwaiti government to legislate a clear and specific to criminalize acts of domestic violence, and fear of the victim to submit a request, and the lack of a safe haven to protect it increased this problem.
This issue has been recognized through the Complaints Committee in the society. Most of the women who are victims of domestic violence when they contact us cannot come to make a complaint because of the fear from their relatives who attacked them. And the biggest problem when the victim is not a Kuwaiti (foreign wife) and does not have any relatives inside Kuwait. Based on the recommendation (31) of the concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in the session for the year 2011, that Kuwait should carry out a data collection disaggregated by gender, age, nationality, and the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator , and the number of the reported cases of the domestic and sexual violence against women , the number of criminal investigations and the number of cases in which the perpetrators prosecuted and the sanctions issued against them and the compensations awarded to the victims. We are in the society have not been able to obtain declared statistics by the authorities, but we can infer the extent of the growing problem of domestic violence through the increasing the number of divorce cases.
According to the statistics of the Central Statistical Office In 2013, the number of divorces reached to 6904 in comparison to 2012 that was 6672. In 2011, the number was 6254 and in 2010, the number was 5965. We can see that divorce cases are continuously increasing in each year from the previous one, which gives us an indication of the concern of, exacerbate of this problem.
When we talk about the domestic violence, we should mention the marital rape, which is a form of domestic violence, where the Kuwaiti Penal Code came by its general and comprehensive provisions. But it does not fit with the privacy of the subject, for example, Article 186 of the Kuwaiti Penal Code criminalizing rape and indecent assault but did not consider the martial rape as an attack and violence against women. Recommendations:
â– The society recommend the needs to adopt clear and specific legislation to criminalize domestic violence in all its forms, including amendments to the text of Article 186 of the Penal Code to criminalize marital rape.
â– The society urges the authorities to help the battered women when submitting a complaining through the provision of a dedicated hotline to report the incidents of the domestic violence and to provide them with the necessary protection.
This is the first part of Kuwait Society for Human Rights Report on Women’s Rights in Kuwait.
Source: Arab Times