KUWAIT: The speakers are pictured during the seminar KUWAIT: The speakers are pictured during the seminar

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Human Rights Society held a seminar yesterday on domestic violence and its effect on women and the society. The seminar was titled 'Domestic Violence in Kuwait: Reality and Aspirations'. It was held in cooperation with the Women Cultural and Social Society, Kuwait Society of Lawyers, Kuwait Social Work Society, National Association of Domestic Security (Rwasi) and the Pioneers of Peace initiative.

The seminar began with an act showing a father hitting his daughter because he was angry with his wife for not cooking dinner. It was explained that domestic violence can affect the little girl and the mother psychologically. Then the scene changed and they made the father give a flower to his daughter.

"Islam is a religion of love," said Dr Amthal Al-Huwailah, psychology professor at Kuwait University, member of the Kuwait Human Rights Society and head of the family center for psycho-social counseling. In her opening speech, Huwailah explained that no one is born violent, but people learn it through their societies. "All religions call for peace, but people made Islam look like it encourages violence, which is not true."


Sahar Al-Shawa, representative of the United Nations Development Programme, explained that this seminar coincides with the international day for the elimination of violence against women. "In February 2008, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon launched a campaign titled "Unite to End Violence against Women", which represents a multi-year effort aimed to prevent violence against women and girls all over the world. The campaign called on governments, civil society, women's organizations, youth, the private sector, the media and the entire United Nations system to synergize in addressing global violence against women and girls," she explained.

Shawa added that the campaign aims to achieve five goals in all countries by 2015, protect women's rights around the world and as the Ban said, "break the silence when you witness violence against women and girls. Do not sit back - act!"

By Faten Omar