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Monday , September 26 2022

KSHR submits report to Human Rights Committee on adoption of issues – II

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The following is the second part of a report submitted to the Human Rights Committee on adopting the list of issues for State of Kuwait at the 136th session for the period from 10th of October– 4th of November 2022. – Editor

3. We ask the Committee to ascertain the government’s intention regarding the possibility of creating an effective mechanism other than the Central System for the remedy of the Bedoon situations.

3. The Women:
■ Women suffer discrimination in a number of laws and regulations, such as the Penal Code through Article (153), the Nationality Law, the Residential Welfare Law, where women do not have the same housing rights as men, the Persons with Disabilities Law, the Civil Code, the Personal Status Law on guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and student affairs regulations and rules in the Ministry Education [1] and therefore the achievement of the principle of equality with men in any entity rather than another, does not mean that Kuwaiti women were able to take a step towards overcoming the issues of discrimination against them.

■ Low participation of women in political and public life in light of the complete absence of women in the National Assembly membership, and the reduction of their representation in the cabinet formation, as there is only one female minister therein. With respect to the Municipal Council elections for the year 2022, we noticed the lack of women’s participation in running for the Municipal Council elections for the year 2022, and only one woman applied in elections [2] and 10 candidates won the membership of the council, all of them were males, and the municipal council consists of (16) members; ten of whom are elected according to Law No. 35/1962, while the government appoints six members; four women and two men have been appointed therein.

■ In July 2022, the president of the National Assembly submitted a proposed legislation stipulating that a new paragraph should be added to Article 1 of Law No. (35) of 1962 stating that the number of male or female winners, in each electoral district, should not be less than one-fifth of the number of seats allocated to each constituency, so that the number of seats for women should be (10); two female members for each constituency.

■ The political empowerment of women in the State of Kuwait, subject to the Global Gender Gap Index for 2022, issued by the World Economic Forum, is No. (145) out of (146), i.e. the penultimate place [3] as women suffer from the societal intellectual system that decline their role and reduce their potential. Perhaps the greatest evidence proving this is that the recent National Assembly elections in which women went in droves to vote for men without giving them a voice to their womenfolk, thus they are in urgent need of capacity building and political and social empowerment programs.

■ By-elections obscure women’s limited access to parliament. These elections are gatherings in Diwaniyas that are carried out by tribesmen and are illegal and informal, through which it was agreed on a representative for them in parliament before standing for the official parliament elections so that they ensure that this person reaches the parliament. Additionally, the Political parties and movements exclude women from among their candidates, and accordingly the first victim of these practices is women.

■ Despite Kuwait’s adoption of Law No. 16/2020 concerning protection from domestic violence, which provides for the establishment of shelters and accommodation centers for abused women, the allocation of a hotline to receive complaints of domestic violence, allowing the issuance of emergency protection orders and formation of the National Committee for Protection from Domestic Violence, violence against women has not ceased and murders have occurred, killing women, which indicates that the law is not effective to the required level, in the absence of shelters for abused women, and the articles and provisions of the law are not accompanied by the executive plans and follow-up on their implementation.

Recommendations

  1. We ask the Committee to request the Kuwaiti government to clarify the procedures taken or envisaged towards amending laws and regulations that still discriminate against women.
  2. We urge the Committee to request the Kuwaiti government to clarify the extent to which special measures can be adopted at the national and international levels, such as the adoption of a quota or quota law for women in order to expedite their participation in political and public life, and their access to leadership positions.

    To be continued tomorrow

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