Marrying a non-Kuwaiti

By Fajer Ahmed

One of the things that I am proudest to say about Kuwait is its diversity and how multicultural it is, and has been ever since its inception. It’s beautiful to see many people from so many cultures. It’s also beautiful to see two people come together in the name of love, regardless of their cultural differences.

With that said, the laws in many aspects don’t portray this diversity. One of the ways this diversity seems to not be accepted is the rights of Kuwaiti women marrying non-Kuwaiti men. Today I look into the most common questions about this issue:

Question: Can Kuwaiti women pass on their nationality to their children or husbands if they are married to non-Kuwaiti men?

Fajer: Unfortunately, the answer is no. The citizenship is not passed on, which means they lose many rights attached to Kuwaiti nationality, such as voting, receiving monetary benefits from the government, certain jobs and so on. This may cause many issues between families. Also, many women leave Kuwait and choose to not live here. This is clear discrimination and makes women choose between their country and love.

Question: Can I marry a non-Kuwaiti man even though my father does not agree?

Fajer: Generally no – you cannot marry without the consent of your father. This is for both Kuwaiti or non-Kuwaiti men. But if you are over the age of 35, then you can ask the judge for permission to get married.

I really hope the laws in Kuwait can be looked into again, and that necessary changes are made.

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