November 23, 2021 – The State of Kuwait has made laudable progress in combating domestic violence through its implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (“SDG 5”) on gender equality and women empowerment and by passing its first domestic violence legislation in August 2020. However, many victims/survivors still have limited access to services to address the detrimental consequences of domestic violence. In development with Kuwaiti partners, the Leitner Clinic designed a guide to help Kuwait achieve the objectives of SDG 5 and effectively implement its new domestic violence legislation. Through a non-carceral approach, the guide focuses on strengthening Kuwait’s capacity to prevent and respond to domestic violence by improving existing services, providing recommendations for new services, and training non-punitive state agencies.
The guide was researched and drafted by Leitner Clinic students Heather Cameron, Charly Frohwitter, Adriana Kranjac, Evan Richardson, and Jacob Setton. The project was co-supervised by SJD candidates Esra Alamiri and Maroun Maalouf and Clinic director Prof. Chi Adanna Mgbako.
An excerpt from the guide:
“The 2018 International Men and Gender Equality Survey – the Middle East and North Africa (“IMAGES MENA”) reveals gaps in gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. The study found that sixty percent of men reported being abusive towards their wives. Additionally, more than eighty percent of men and twenty percent of women believe that a woman should tolerate violence for the sake of the family and saving a marriage.
As is evident from the IMAGES MENA study, many men and women uphold norms that perpetuate domestic violence and undermine Kuwait’s ability to achieve SDG 5.”