Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis given the right to sponsor their children and their husbands

July 15, 2010

Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis have been given the right to sponsor their children and their husbands.

The decision, announced by the interior minister, marks a huge step forward for Kuwaiti women who have been pushing for years for such rights to ease pressure on family stability.

Under the former legal arrangements, the sons and daughters of Kuwaiti mothers and foreign fathers had to be sponsored by companies or institutions when they reached 18 years. Husbands who left their employers were also forced to seek the sponsorship of companies or establishments to continue living in Kuwait. Wives could sponsor their husbands under the old system when they reached 60.

According to Kuwaiti sources, the decision applies to the sons and daughters of Kuwaiti women and is not linked to any conditions. However, Kuwaiti women cannot sponsor their husbands if they divorce.

Activists hope that the move would herald more measures to help women gain greater rights, including the possibility for Kuwaiti women married with foreigners to transfer their nationality to their children.

“A first step would be to enable Kuwaiti divorcees and widows to pass on their nationality to their children who have no other option,” one activist said.



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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