The Failure of a Kuwaiti Domestic Violence Law
Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Men harassing women is unfortunately nothing new. We live in a world where women are constantly in fear of being harassed or sexually assaulted, even in broad daylight. According to The Washington Post, Farah Hamza Akbar was a woman who filed two police complaints against a man who harassed and threatened her for more than a year. The police did not do enough to keep her safe or at least make her feel as if she were. Akbar was found dead, stabbed in the heart, and covered in blood, in front of a hospital in Kuwait on April 20th, 2021.
Akbar’s murder, as well as others such as Shaikha Al-Ajmi’s (who was killed by her brother, who disapproved of her working as a guard at Kuwait’s parliament), sparked protests outside of Kuwait City’s National Assembly. Women in Kuwait are advocating for better protection laws leading to the creation of the movement “Lan Askat,” Arabic for “I will not be silent,” to spread awareness of the gender-based violence and sexual harassment they continue to face.
Even though in August 2020 Kuwaiti lawmakers passed the country’s first domestic violence law, it has been poorly implemented. Furthermore, the legal code still provides men who kill women far greater protections than the women should’ve been given it. For example, if a husband finds his wife committing adultery, he can kill her and only face up to three years in prison as well as only face a misdemeanor under Kuwaitan law. There have been far lesser incidents that result in plenty of more prison sentences showing just how unjust Kuwaitan’s laws are for women.
Women should not have to feel afraid to leave their homes, sometimes the only place where they feel safe. There have been hundreds of women murdered just like Akbar that have gone without justice and change. Even worse, most of the time complaints like Akbar’s are not taken seriously, resulting in authorities letting the assailant go leading to the victims losing their lives. Akbar’s sister and several others are angry at authorities for not listening to the threats the murderer was making on her and her sister’s life and then letting him go after initially detaining him twice before he set out to murder Akbar.
Enough is enough. Women have had enough with those who are sworn to protect them failing and ignoring them when they come to them for help.
These women who are being murdered and not receiving needed help have families and loved ones who are also losing someone close to them. These women deserve justice for the crimes committed against them. It is important that those who can try to support victims like Akbar, whether that means spreading awareness, joining advocacy groups, or just following the case.
A Review of Farah Hamza Akbar’s Murder
Innocent Kuwaitan Woman Murdered
Berger, Miriam. “Outrage in Kuwait after Woman Is Stabbed to Death by Man She Reported Repeatedly for Harassment.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 22 Apr. 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/04/22/farah-akbar-kuwait-woman-stabbed/.