The Kuwait Society for Human Rights has issued a thorough and analytical study on the women's rights in the State of Kuwait as part of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), within the framework of the Takamul Project that aims to promote gender equality in Kuwaiti society, which is implemented in cooperation with the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
The study consists of two chapters. The first chapter is on women's rights in the State of Kuwait within the framework of the Constitution and legislation (National Law). The second chapter is on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Kuwaiti National Law.
The first chapter contains three topics: women's rights under the Kuwaiti Constitution, women's rights in Kuwait between justice and equality, and the principle of legality and women's rights in Kuwait: the extent to which domestic legislation conforms to the Constitution.
As for the second chapter, it contains four topics: the dialectic of the relationship between the Kuwaiti public system and international standards through the extent of conformity and harmonization between women's rights in Kuwait with the CEDAW Convention, the rights of women in Kuwait, the change of public order by changing the public interest, and the national mechanisms to promote women's rights in Kuwait, while the fourth topic addresses the international mechanisms to activate women's rights in Kuwait.
At the beginning of the study, it has been mentioned that the Kuwaiti Constitution do not mention women's rights specifically or by designation, as the term “women” is not mentioned in all articles of the Kuwaiti Constitution. Therefore, women's rights in Kuwait seems to revolve around the general theoretical framework for citizen’ rights, individuals’ rights and their public freedoms.
The study points out that the Kuwaiti Constitution involves provisions that conform to international standards in citizenship, justice and equality. Despite the ratification of the State of Kuwait to many agreements in this regard, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), women's rights in Kuwait are still in many legislations out of practice.
The study reached a number of conclusions, including theoretically, that the legal obligations of the government of the State of Kuwait indicate a legal interaction between the Kuwaiti Constitution and the CEDAW Convention, but the practical reality of the legislative practice still suffers from the inability of the Kuwaiti legislator to activate, interpret, and apply constitutional provisions within the framework of women's rights.
Moreover, many Kuwaiti legislations contradict the provisions of the Kuwaiti Constitution, which led to the failure to activate the CEDAW Convention due to the many legal, juristic, and societal problems that prevents Kuwaiti women from obtaining their rights. The Kuwaiti legislation reflects a clear and distinct distinction in many rights, such as the right to occupy jobs, equality to public burdens, the right to equality, the right to work, the right to nationality, the right to housing, the right to political participation, and so on.
The study includes a number of recommendations, including activating the Kuwaiti State Council as an independent administrative judiciary, as it is concerned with defending the rights and public freedoms of individuals through monitoring the actions of the administrative authority, which is practically implementing the regulations and laws in accordance with the Constitution, thus helping in law enforcement in accordance with the provisions of the CEDAW Convention, and confirming the legal culture of women in Kuwait, whether by governmental or non-governmental institutions through symposiums and conferences, in a way that helps women to know the legal mechanisms that enable them to activate and amend the legislative performance.
The study also recommends reviewing the Kuwaiti Nationality Law within the framework of equality between men and women, especially in matters of a human dimension that have nothing to do with the principle of sovereignty, particularly those relating to maintaining the stability and tranquility of the Kuwaiti family in accordance with the Kuwaiti Constitution.