Discrimination is an act of treating or showing intention to treat a group of people or an individual in an unjust or unfair manner basing on who they are. Discrimination exists in many forms, and victims are discriminated based on their gender, place of origin, ethnicity, race, and religion. Kuwait is no exception to this ugly phenomenon.
Discrimination against Women and Migrant Workers in Kuwait
In Kuwait, three groups are the major victims of discrimination. Firstly, this is the migrant workers group that faces discrimination from their employers; secondly, those are Kuwait woman. Women face discrimination from their husbands, the society, judicial and legislative system. Finally, stateless persons also suffer discrimination since they are denied privileges enjoyed by citizens of Kuwait. Being rejected by a group of people due to reasons that are beyond control causes severe worry, anxiety, sadness, low self-esteem, and emptiness. These disorders affect the society and living standards for people. This social campaign seeks to explore the extent of discrimination against Kuwait women and migrants working in Kuwait in order to advocate and seek support for anti-discrimination initiatives intended to counter the problem.
Migrant employees in Kuwait range from domestic to construction workers, and this group of people faces constant discrimination from their employers. This is of the greatest concern for domestic workers as many of them have faced physical assaults and abuse, including sexual abuse from their employers. In other instances, the workers have been exposed to non-payment and total confinement at employers’ houses. An equally disturbing fact is that some employers withhold their passports therefore denying them the freedom of movement. In the year 2013, the government built a rescuecenter to accommodate employees fleeing from abusive employers.Shockingly before the end of 2014, 210 women had sought custody in the facility(WEF 23).
Kuwaiti women have suffered discrimination too. A huge gap exists between representation of men and women in all sectors.The Global Gender Gap Report of 2010 by World Economic Forum ranked Kuwait at 105 out of the 134 Middle East and Northern Africa Countries based on gender gap with o score of 0.6318.Women are discriminated by the family law that denies them privilege to child custody in case of a divorce and inheritance of property. Further, Muslim women in Kuwait are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men while men, conversely, have a choice to marry anybody they feel. Moreover, Kuwaiti women are not allowed to contract marriage, and in all cases, there must be a male referred to as ‘wali’ to contract marriage on their behalf. In Kuwait, for any marriage to be rendered legal, a witness to the marriage must be a man of Islamic religion. The law is more intolerant to women. Whereby, if a man is guilty of kidnapping a woman, he does no face any punishment in case he agrees to marry the victim with the consent of her parents.
Countering discrimination requires a dedicated effort aimed at changing people’s mind set while addressing the cause of the discriminationat the same time. The campaign that I intend to use is to pass a message showing the effects and frustration of discrimination. The message of the campaign will be “Kuwait Is a Paradise for All.” In this campaign, comparison will be made between a nation that has come past discrimination and the true picture of the discriminating Kuwait. To this end, the analysis shows that the economic, social, and political difference is big; therefore, this will discourage people from promoting acts that discriminate others. Furthermore, in the campaign, I intend to use social media group’s example, such as Facebook or Twitter, with an aim at convincing people to resist discrimination and practice equality. At the same time, this campaign requires support from people of good will. Therefore, my audience is encouraged to spread the message to other social groups.
Discrimination is a reality in Kuwait, and the major victims are migrant workers and women. The practice is disturbing, and it causes frustration to the victims. In a struggle to fight discrimination, changing the mentality of perpetrators is an important step in realizing equality. If as many people as possible pass the information through social media and other platforms, this inexcusable practice can be put to an end.
WEF, ForoEconómico Mundial. “The Global Gender Gap Report 2013.”World Economic Forum, 2013.