Kuwait: Kuwaiti women are angry after the military has allowed female soldiers to take on combat roles, determined that they need the permission of a male guardian, and banned the introduction of weapons. Activists accused the policy of “one step forward, two step back” after the Ministry of Defense decided that military women, unlike civilians, had to wear head coverings.
This move has sparked an online backlash in Kuwait, which is usually considered one of the most open societies in the Gulf. “I don’t know why there are these restrictions to join the army,” Ghadeer Al-Khashti, a sports teacher and member of the Women’s Committee of the Kuwait Football Association, told AFP. “Women of all kinds are working in all areas, including the police.”
She said her mother helped resist when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 and occupied it for seven months before being pushed out by a US-led international coalition. “My mother during the invasion of Iraq was used to hide weapons under Abaya and transport them to members of Kuwait’s resistance, and my dad encouraged it,” Kashti said. I did. “I don’t know why they consider women weak.”
The ministry decided in October to allow women to fight, but imposed restrictions after being questioned by defense minister by conservative lawmaker Hamdan al-Azumi. Bold by the Islamic Edict, or Fatwa, Azumi argued that putting women in combat roles “doesn’t fit the nature of women.”
Lulwa Saleh Al-Mulla, head of the Kuwait Women’s Cultural Society, said the ministry’s restrictions were discriminatory and unconstitutional and vowed to take legal action by the organization. “We have female martyrs who defended their country on their own initiative,” she told AFP. “No one has commanded them to do so, but their love for the country. We are a Muslim country, that is true, but we demand that the law not be subject to fatwas. The constitution, which is based on national law, guarantees individual freedom. “
Kuwaiti women won the right to vote in 2005 and have been active in both the cabinet and parliament, but neither is representative. Unlike most Gulf countries, Kuwait is known for its active political climate, and the MP regularly challenges authorities. Earlier this month, dozens of Kuwaiti women protested the suspension of women’s yoga retreats, which were considered “vulgar” by conservatives.
One of them was Azumi, who accused the withdrawal of being “dangerous” and “foreign to a conservative society” in a Twitter post. Female protesters carried placards condemning “exploitation of women’s problems” in politics, as well as “fatwa regime” and “protection of women.” Ibtihal Al-Khatib, an English professor at Kuwait University, said the debate over new rules for military women went irrationally. “The military needs to integrate both women and men without discrimination,” a feminist scholar told AFP. “Danger does not distinguish between men and women, nor does it distinguish death in battle.” – AFP
https://www.kuwaittimes.com/kuwaiti-women-irked-over-curbs-to-join-army/ Kuwaiti woman disturbs the curb to join the army