The Relationship Between Development and Gender Equality: In Search of New Perspectives on Sustainable Development Through the Lens of the Kuwaiti Nationality Law 1959

The Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development, 21 (2018) Special Issue: Gender and Development (ed. Anne Stewart)

47 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020

See all articles by Myra Williamson

Myra Williamson

University of Waikato; Kuwait International Law School

Date Written: March 17, 2017

Abstract

The Kuwait Nationality Law 1959 denies women the same rights as men to pass on their Kuwaiti citizenship to their children. Male Kuwaitis will automatically pass on their nationality to their children regardless of their choice of spouse, but the same is not true for Kuwaiti women. If a Kuwaiti woman marries a foreigner, her children will be considered foreigners, except in a narrow range of circumstances (such as if she divorces her husband or her husband dies and the children reach the age of majority). This law has huge repercussions for the Kuwaiti woman and her family. It is argued in this paper that this law constitutes a breach of every Kuwaiti woman’s human rights and her children’s human rights. Moreover, it is argued here that if the Kuwaiti government and other states are serious about attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they ought to consider addressing the issue of gender inequality in the nationality law since gender equality is a pre-requisite for the other SDGs.

Keywords: Kuwait, nationality, citizenship, gender equality, gender justice, social justice, women’s rights, children’s rights, statelessness, sustainable development goals, development, developing countries, Global North, Global South, human rights, Islam, Kuwait Constitution

JEL Classification: K00, K1, K10, K19, K33, K36, K37, K39, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Williamson, Myra, The Relationship Between Development and Gender Equality: In Search of New Perspectives on Sustainable Development Through the Lens of the Kuwaiti Nationality Law 1959 (March 17, 2017). The Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development, 21 (2018) Special Issue: Gender and Development (ed. Anne Stewart), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3621949

Myra Williamson (Contact Author)

University of Waikato ( email )

New Zealand

Kuwait International Law School ( email )

Block 4, Building 800005
Doha City, Jahra 93151
Kuwait

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