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Lawyers challenge new law – Compulsory conscription in Kuwait military?

KUWAIT: After news reports were published about approving compulsory conscription services in Kuwait, a group of lawyers decided to file a case against this law if it obliged only the Kuwaiti men to serve in the military and excluded women. They claim that since women are demanding equal rights as men, they should also be given equal responsibility. Attorney Aziz Al-Sayed opined about these lawyers and their intended case which he finds unconstitutional. “I think that they based their case on the fact that the law draft didn’t specify the gender for conscription service.

I don’t agree with them and I think that their opinion is bizarre and irregular but it’s legal and they have the right to file a case. On the other hand, I think their case would be in conflict with the Kuwaiti Constitution as Islamic sharia is the basic source of legislation, and this doesn’t oblige women to serve in the military,” he told the Kuwait Times. Lawyer Sharyan Al-Sharyan, Member of the Kuwait Bar Association who didn’t know these lawyers who intend to file the case said that he doesn’t agree with them. “Equality is not total in all issues, as there are certain differences, especially in our conservative society. I think that many people, including these attorneys, like to show off and provoke the community. I also think we have many religious parties that won’t approve such a case and the government cares about their opinion,” he pointed out.

In general, he agrees with the law to allow Kuwaiti men serve compulsorily in the military. “Kuwaitis today are soft and in many cases we can’t differentiate men from a woman. This mandatory service will teach men to be independent and be ready to defend their country. In our society, women have special conditions and for instance can’t stay overnight outside the house as the men do while serving in military.

It’s true that women were recently allowed to join the police but this was only under special circumstances because you can’t have men in women’s prison or at the airport to frisk during the security check,” explained Al-Sharyan. “Even in the West, they see a woman who has served in the military as someone who has lost her femininity. I think there can be some courses in civil defense for instance, including nursing or other activities, but not hard military training that doesn’t match their soft nature. In the 1980s or 1970s, there was a program for the students of secondary schools on military training including civil defense and training with weapons, but this program was canceled,” he concluded.

By Nawara Fattahova

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This article was published on 05/09/2013