By Fajer Ahmed
Following the incident that happened last week, a dramatic and violent beating of a young girl at her school by her father, it is time to review our laws in Kuwait when it comes to women’s rights and try to understand why there are recurring harmful and inhumane incidents. Although they may be sporadic here and frequent in many other countries, they are still wrong and need to be addressed in our own country.
As a lawyer, I would like to make it clear that from a legal point of view, a father has absolutely no legal right to beat his daughter violently, whether in public or in the privacy of his home. Regardless of whether the father has custody or not, he must protect his daughter and not be the cause of pain to her. With that said, this seems to be confusing to many, because the law in Kuwait does not punish gentle beatings of a daughter by her father if it is done for disciplinary reasons, which is unfortunate.
This allowance is under article 29 of Kuwait’s penal code. The article states: “There is no crime if the act is to use the right to discipline a person authorized by law to do so, provided that it is bound by its limits and its intention is merely to discipline.” The law has then been explained to clarify that husbands have the right to beat their wives for disciplinary reasons, just as long as it leaves no physical marks on them, with the same for fathers and their daughters. Violence should not be accepted, especially from a man who is responsible for the safety of his family.