MP wants education rights for children of Kuwaiti mothers and foreign fathers

February 9, 2010

Salwa Al Jassar

A Kuwait lawmaker is pushing for including children born to Kuwaiti mothers and non-Kuwaiti fathers in the mandatory education laws.

“We want to amend the law that stipulates that education is compulsory for all Kuwaiti boys and girls so that it also includes boys and girls born to Kuwaiti mothers and non-Kuwaiti fathers,” MP Salwa Al Jassar said .

The laws governing public education in Kuwait currently does not cover children whose fathers are not Kuwaitis nationals.

Under Al Jassar’s proposals, fathers who do not send their children to school will be put in prison for one month or made to pay fines.

Women’s rights activists have been campaigning for an enhancement of the status of women in Kuwait, with a particular focus on Kuwaiti women married to foreigners who cannot transmit their nationality to their children and do not benefit from government-sponsored housing schemes.

The activists have warned that failure to address the problems facing Kuwaiti women married with foreign nationals could fracture families and stability and cause social problems.

Al Jassar is one of four MPs who made history last year by becoming the first women to be elected to the Kuwaiti parliament. Attempts by conservatives to have the parliament dissolved and force new elections that could result in the non-election of women have been regularly resisted by the government and liberal MPs.



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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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