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A reminder if Council of Ministers has forgotten

WE visualized that the Ministry of Justice was determined to hire female graduates from the Faculty of Sharia as novice legal researchers in the ministry just like their male counterparts. The issue caused an uproar during the tenure of former Minister of Justice Shareedah Al-Moasherji because he refused (for the first time) to endorse a decision that was issued by the Supreme Justice Council to accept women for that position. The decision was then signed by the then acting Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and we thought we had finally closed the infamous chapter of our history — the chapter of discrimination against women.

We also thought we would finally see women in that position like their male counterparts until a few days ago when a notification informed the Ministry of Justice had decided to employ only male Kuwaitis as novice legal researchers. One day later another notification was posted which said the jobs are for Kuwaitis only, without the word ‘male’. We took it for granted that the Ministry of Justice had finally realized its folly but it was not to be so, because the notification spoke only about the change of date for the interview — March 30 instead of March 20.

May we ask what can be the reason behind this sudden change? The Supreme Justice Council had issued the decision keeping in mind their appointment as Prosecutors and Judges in future. The decision was endorsed by the then concerned minister making it legally binding irrespective whether some liked it or not.

What could be the reason for the turnaround? I hope it is not because of the ideology and religious affiliations of the new minister who is bound to the Salafist ideology. We are supposed to be a State of law and institutions which prevents ministers from personalizing decisions. A ministry is not the private property of the minister’s father for him to control the lives of the people either according to his ideology or religious inclination.  We don’t have faith in this Cabinet just like we did not in the previous one because none of them have lived to our expectations. We now look forward to our honorable parliamentarians since MP Safa’a Al-Hashem has initiated a move to tackle the issue and has even threatened to file interpellation against the concerned minister should he persist in his personalized decision.

We hope the reason for turning a blind eye to the earlier decision is not because of the current minister’s inclination to a certain ideology. We soon hope to see another notification from the Ministry of Justice inviting only female Kuwaitis for that position, if not, we request the honorable MP Safa’a Al-Hashem to translate her words into actions — actions which should be supported by every noble person in the Parliament — particularly those who believe in women’s rights. A civil service decision No 949/2005 which was issued by former minister Maasouma Al-Mubarak and endorsed by the Council of Ministers says discrimination of gender is forbidden during employment in the ministries and government institutions.

Oh, Council of Ministers, I remind you if you have forgotten!

e-mail: ali-albaghli@hotmail.com

By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil


By: Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

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