Abolish 153 is a campaign that has grown in size and numbers in Kuwait and internationally. From its founding members to friends of the campaign; Abolish 153 is definetely something to keep the pulse on. The aim of Abolish 153, is to eliminate article 153 from Kuwait’s penal code, which effectively gives men regulatory, judicial and executive power over their female kin in blatant disregard of the constitution, international agreements on human and women’s rights and even the Islamic Sharia.
Similar articles exist across the globe in different countries that also hinder the advancement of women and their social stability. This effectively needs to be eliminated from our various societies as well as women are no longer the property of anyone except themselves. It is a cause worth watching as well as getting involved; Abolish 153 truly stands for the rights of women. I was particularly touched by this cause as my mother was a victim at the hand of a man with no outlet for help.
If we are going into the 21st century accept these beliefs as true and allow for the continuation of these hindrances on our lives as women, what can we expect for our daughters and their daughters? When speaking with members of the Abolish 153 team, it was important to fully understand what the campaign means for women in Kuwait and the GCC at large. When speaking with founding member Sindus Hamza, it was shared that Abolish 153 is standing up for women and girls of and in the region through an Advocacy Against Honor Killings campaign to help empower women, through the building of the what hopefully is a hotline/helpline center and through a petition drive to raise awareness.
Hamza continued to share that the campaign aims to see change happening through legal and political work on the local level, information sharing and awareness campaigns on the international level. In addition to lobbying and advocacy, Abolish 153 wants to address the issue of honor crimes by training and assisting other capable NGOs to build the first independent women’s shelter in Kuwait.
According to the Abolish 153 website (http://www.abolish153.org/), Abolish 153 serves to ultimately create a safe environment where mothers, daughters, sisters and wives are protected from all forms of violence, to raise awareness of these violent practices and the legislation that sanctions them, and ensure the creation of safe houses for women under threat of violence, which are lacking in Kuwait.
If we as women and men living in Kuwait are not aware of the injustices in our environment than we contribute to their continuation. Whether Kuwaiti or not, we need to come together and support change from the ground up. We are capable as people, as humans to stand together and make change. Abolish 153 is taking actions against crimes towards women and we in Kuwait can show our support and make a difference individually and as a collective. By creating awareness around issues and injustices, we bring knowledge to them and create awareness that may have not existed. Kuwait is beautiful place to call home and let us stand together to create change.
Support Abolish Article 153!
By: Natasha E. Feghali
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