Feature: Kuwaiti artists celebrate Int'l Women's Day with art exhibition

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-07 23:30:56|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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KUWAIT CITY, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Kuwaiti women artists celebrated on Wednesday evening the International Women's Day by organizing an art exhibition in eastern Kuwait, with artworks expressing women's concerns and aspirations.

At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, held at the Boushahri Art Gallery in Hawalli Governorate, Kuwaiti writer Laila Al-Othman told Xinhua that women in Kuwait are keen to obtain their full rights, especially in the social aspect.

"We cannot say that Kuwaiti women have achieved everything. They have great ambitions to get their full rights especially the social one like they did with obtaining the political right," she said.

Every year, Kuwait hosts several cultural events on the occasion of the International Women's Day and this year's exhibition brought together works that express women's concerns, ambitions, and strength with amazing and colorful paintings, she said.

"Most of my paintings condemn the exploitation of women in advertising," said plastic artist Samira Boukhamsin.

The exhibition was not only concerned with Kuwaiti women but also with women in Yemen, where the artist Farida Al-Baqsami focused on highlighting the beauty of Yemeni women suffering from war.

"I visited Yemen before the war, and those who are seen in my painting, are Queen Balqis and women from Yemen in their traditional dress, along with their makeup tools and mirrors," said Baqsami, who plans to donate the proceeds of selling to Yemeni women.

On political empowerment of women in Kuwait, Baqsami said that in 2005, Kuwaiti women were able to obtain their political and civil rights.

"Since 2006 they have been able to vote and run for office, but they were unable to enter the National Assembly until 2009, after Massouma al-Mubarak, Salwa Al-Jassar, Aseel Al-Awadhi, and Rula Dashti won parliamentary seats, a precedent in the history of Kuwait," she noted.

Currently, there are two women in the Kuwaiti government, carrying portfolios of two important ministries, the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of State for Housing, Janan Bushehri, and Maryam Al-Aqeel, Minister of State for Economic Affairs.

The number of female members of parliament has declined during the last legislative elections held in 2016, to only one member, Baqsami said.

"I hope the number of women will rise in Abdullah Al Salem Hall (parliament), because one voice will not rise alone," she said.

"Kuwaiti men have the right to grant Kuwaiti nationality to his wife after five years of marriage, while women have no right to do so," she said, adding that women in Kuwait hope that the National Assembly will contribute to the amendment of a number of laws, to allow Kuwaiti women to give her nationality to her children as men.

The issue of nationality is not the only one that concerns women in Kuwait. Article 153 of the Kuwaiti Penal Code stipulates that "whoever found his wife, daughter, mother, sister in a case of adultery, and he kills her immediately," she said.

Although honor killings are not a known phenomenon in Kuwait, this law, which dates back to the period before independence, supports violence against women and contributes to its oppression. This law is still in force and the government should seriously consider abolishing it, she stressed.