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DOES a female citizen lose her right to enjoy a secure social life like her male compatriot just because she got married to a non-Kuwaiti? Is allegiance to this country for men alone, not for women?
These questions were raised due to the predicament of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis, along with their children who suffer in the only country they know. Why are they deprived of the right to obtain citizenship?
The Constitution stipulates equality among citizens in obligations and rights. It does not differentiate between males and females, so if the children of a Kuwaiti man married to a non-Kuwaiti is allowed to obtain citizenship and for his wife after five years, the female citizens should also have such right for them to enjoy social stability.
These children have been living in the country throughout their life. Some of them obtained certificates in various fields like medicine, engineering, law and other professions while others have not completed their studies. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that they suddenly found themselves without work and threatened with deportation under a weak pretext.
The State does not consider the benefits of these children and what they give to the country. Instead, these children are disappointed by those who ‘trade’ in them – some politicians who exploit them during the electoral season in order to gain the votes of their mothers. Once the election season is over, such politicians intentionally forget their promise to amend the Naturalization Law for the benefit of these children.
If the case of Bedouns is considered an old issue in Kuwait, the naturalization of the children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis is absolutely a ruthless farce for two ridiculous reasons – some officials have been secretly reiterating the financial cost and the inhumane conditions.
Is it humane to refuse to naturalize this category which consists of a few thousands, unless their parents are divorced or after the death of their fathers? Don’t these conditions encourage destruction of families?
It is possible to naturalize them and be responsible for building their houses without granting privileges given to citizens. If the issue is remains in the inhumane perspective, this does not reflect the reality of Kuwait. For this, those on top of the issue continue to give flimsy excuses and to bicker.
Regardless of any other argument on this issue, why not grant them permanent residence, similar to that of the United States of America? In most countries, children get the nationality of their mothers immediately after birth but this is not the case in Kuwait – which needs all types of experiences, brains and helping hands in building the nation. It is the same country that brings all types and colors of foreign manpower in vast numbers, whereas the children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis continue to suffer.
Besides Kuwait, other countries look for what gives social security, peace and stability to their citizens and residents, so they become creative and express patriotism through work, not words.
Is Kuwait, the country that can accommodate 10 million people with a GDP which is enough for 20 million people, choking because of some thousands of those who were born here and whose mothers are Kuwaitis?
Is Kuwait discriminating between the brother and the sister who will get married and receive citizenship, while her brother remains a non-Kuwaiti? Why are there unjustified complications? Is the attitude towards the children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis in line with the slogans of tolerance, abundance and openness which we always sing about?
In fact, does this attitude do justice to the title given to Kuwait, the ‘International Humanitarian Center’?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times