Is segregation the key to a better State system? Since 2000, Kuwait University has segregated students in classrooms – females are separate from males. It seems they are willing to go further by segregating schools and somehow the early childhood centers!
Islamist politicians claim that segregation is a cure for ‘moral corruption’ and it will eliminate the ‘disrespectful’ framework. Even the new Shadadiya University, which is a symbol of how the students’ future will be, was built with entirely separate campuses for male and female students.
Since the implementation of the Segregation Law, students have been forced to attend separate classes in schools and universities; teaching them that being with a different gender is a violation and considered a crime. Students have been treated without trust as if they are untrustworthy or have no ‘self esteem’ in terms of interacting with the opposite gender.
Is segregation an ethical and psychiatric treatment? In a world that is fighting for women’s rights, segregation has never been regarded as one of the solutions to any ethical obstacle. In fact, women find equality once they enter the field of men and are treated equally. The funny thing is that the Parliament which issued the code of segregation is not segregated!
When it comes to enlightening and educating the next generation, the process starts by making them believe they are equal in humanity and dignity. Ethics should be instilled by believing in them, instead of treating students as untrustworthy convicted people. Ethics cannot be banned or forced through laws, as they can only be promoted through encouragement. This is how civilizations were built!
Moreover, the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) reflects humanity and ethical standards. Article 10 of the convention states: “Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and ensure granting them equal rights with men in the field of education, and in particular, to ensure on the basis of equality of men and women the elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education by encouraging COEDUCATION and other types of education which will help achieve this aim and, in particular, by revising textbooks and school programs and adaptation of an effective teaching method.” The law stipulates coeducation as one way of combating discrimination against women.
The convention also regulates ethics and framework of how culture should be. Code number 5 states that: “Parties shall take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view of eliminating prejudices as well as customs and all other practices which are based on the idea of inferiority or superiority of either of the genders or the stereotyped roles of men and women.”
Personally, I think segregation has never been the key to a better State system. Laws must be enacted based on the recommendations of CEDAW which Kuwait has joined, in addition to the human rights conventions and international declaration of human rights.
By Atyab Alshatti, Esq