Women’s rights from Kuwait’s perspective

Attorney Fajer Ahmed

By Attorney Fajer Ahmed

I wrote on the 5th of September a column titled Women Rights a topic that I was hesitant to write about but the response from my readers was immense and as I promised I am continuing the discussions.

I think topics like this should be brought out in the open, it important to discuss our issues and not ignore them. We should address the fact that we have some inequalities within the law/society itself in order to bring about beneficial change.

Question: How safe is it to go to a police station alone as a woman? I have heard mixed responses and I know you wrote about it, but I am still unsure. I need to file a police report because my husband is abusing and mistreating me. I am also afraid that the investigators/police officers will not understand as they are men and I need to discuss issues that I am only comfortable discussing with a woman.
I talked about this topic in my last column but I would like to continue the conversation as I went myself and did some research. Most police stations in residential areas now have multiple female investigators working morning and night shifts and although there are female police officers, I have only personally seen them at the airport. Regardless I think if you go to the police station in the mornings on a week day at your residential area you should find friendly woman investigators working there that are very helpful.

Question: A guy is threatening me with my pictures, he says he will use it to get my fired from my job. What can I do?
You need to go to the a department in the Ministry of Interior that is specialized in Internet crimes and usually deal with issues like this. The department is not that big but the investigators there can be very helpful. Just make sure you have proof, for example do you have any messages sent to you where this guy is threatening you? Emails? So on. Have them ready before you go in.

Question: I am a 24 year old female and I would like to marry my boyfriend but my dad will not allow it. Do I really need his consent at court?
Fajer: Yes generally speaking a Kuwaiti female needs the consent of her father at court in order for her to get married officially. With that said there are cases where the court has given permission for females to get married without consent of their father. Usually the court only allows permission to woman older in age and to women getting married to men from the same social, religious, economical and educational background. Such cases are very complicated though and do take a long time. The ones that our office have handled have been successful but have taken around a year. Even when the judge does give permission the father can file an appeal and get the marriage revoked.

This is one inequality that feminists are against, their point of view is adults both man and woman should have the right to decide who they are getting married to. This law is derived from Islamic/ Sharia laws and therefore they obviously have their supporters as well. There many other laws under Kuwaiti family law that may seem unfair that are also derived from Islamic Shaira.

I hope the above helped, please feel free to email me any thoughts you have and maybe in the near future I will write about man rights under Kuwait’s law.

For any legal questions or queries, email [email protected].


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