Kuwait’s decision to allow women to finally be able to join their country’s army was widely celebrated. But Minister of Defense, Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah issued a certain number of terms and conditions, and the new measure is now seen in a different light.
Back in October, the Emirate’s authorities made history by making combat positions available to women. But when questioned by lawmakers, the forward-looking policy now seems as if it had been tampered with some conservativeness.
— KUWAIT TIMES (@kuwaittimesnews) October 18, 2021
To be able to fight for their country, women will, first of all, need the permission of a male guardian. Once that condition is met, they will also have to wear a headscarf. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Bearing arms or conducting any kind of field military exercise is forbidden for female Kuwaiti citizens.
Activists quickly described the new conditions as Kuwait taking “one step forward, two steps back”.
Some went even further, including Lulwa Saleh al-Mulla, head of the Kuwaiti Women’s Cultural and Social Society as the militant shared her opinionated views on the recent law with AFP. “We have women martyrs who defended their country of their own volition,” she told AFP. “No one ordered them to do that but the love for their country.”
“We are a Muslim country, that is true, but we demand the laws not be subject to fatwas. Personal freedom is guaranteed in the constitution, on which the country’s laws are based,” she continued.