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Women win right to hold passports and travel without consent

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-21

Kuwaiti’s constitutional court has ruled that women can obtain their own passports and travel without the approval of their husbands, putting an end to a 47-year-old law.

AFP - Kuwaiti women will now be able to obtain their own passports and travel without the prior consent of their husbands following a ruling on Tuesday by the constitutional court.

The highest court in the Gulf state, whose rulings are final, abrogated an article in the 1962 passports law that prevented a woman from getting her own passport without her husband's prior approval.

The court said in the ruling, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, that the article was in violation of a number of provisions in the constitution which guarantee personal freedom and gender equality.

The decision came after a Kuwaiti woman complained that her husband had refused to give her and their three children their passports and other personal identification documents so he could prevent them from leaving the country.

Female lawmaker Aseel al-Awadhi welcomed the ruling as a "victory for constitutional principles," and "puts an end to this injustice against Kuwaiti women."

She said in a statement that she plans with the help of other MPs to scrap all legislation that violates the constitution.

Date created : 2009-10-21

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