KUWAIT CITY, Dec 20: National laws include discriminatory articles such as Nationality Law No.15/1959.
Article Two of this law stipulates that a child born abroad is a Kuwaiti if the father is Kuwaiti, depriving the Kuwaiti woman married to a non-Kuwaiti of the right to pass on her nationality to her children.
Article 153 of the Penal Code discriminates between men and women in case of committing murder due to adultery as it downplays the case from a criminal act to misdemeanor for men. If a woman commits the same crime, she will be sentenced for murder. This is plain and simple discrimination between men and women.
Article 186 of the Kuwaiti Penal Code c r i m i n a l i z e s rape and sexual assault, but this is not the case if a husband rapes or sexually assaults his wife – a form of violence against women. Some provisions of Housing Welfare Law No. 47/1993 and its amendment law No. 2/2011 discriminate against Kuwaiti divorced women, widows or those married to non-Kuwaitis.
Article 28 (repeated) of the same law and its amendment law No. 2/2011 stipulates that Kuwait Credit Bank assumes the responsibility of providing low cost housing facilities in accordance with the provisions of the decree mentioned in Article 28b (repeated) to the following:
■ Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis and have children
■ Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis, residing in Kuwait and have no have children, provided the marriage happened five years ago
■ Kuwaiti divorced women and widows without children
■ Unmarried Kuwaiti women aged 40 years, provided the housing service for two female relatives of first, second or third degree is set aside
■ Kuwaiti divorced women and widows with Kuwaiti or non-Kuwaiti children who are eligible to obtain housing loan not exceeding KD 70,000 Therefore, the law discriminates between women according to social status, while the loan procedures for men are much easier. Personal Status Law No. 51/1984 does not give women the right of guardianship and custody over their children as Article 209 of the law states that:
■ Guardianship right is given to the father and then the grandfather according to the inheritance system, provided this right is given to the first degree relative
■ If there are more guardians, the court will select the best
■ If there is no guardian, the court appoints any one it deems qualified to take up the role Article 110 of Civil Law No. 67/1980 touches on such points stipulating that:
■ Guardianship over the funds of a minor goes to the father, then to the grandfather and a guardian appointed by the court taking into consideration the provisions of Article 112
■ The father or grandfather is not allowed to reject guardianship unless he has a valid reason Therefore, women have no guardianship right over their children unless the court decides otherwise.
Furthermore, many internal regulations do not give women the right of guardianship to manage the public affairs of their children.
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Email: lawyeratyabalshatti@ gmail.com
By Atyab Alshatti, Esq.