Kuwait City: Five Islamist MPs in the
Gulf state of Kuwait on Monday proposed a one-year prison term and
USD 3,500 fine for women who wear swimsuits at the beach.
The lawmakers, representing various Islamist groups in
parliament, also said in a proposal to amend Kuwait`s penal
code that the same penalty should apply to women who reveal
their upper chest or take part in "indecent behaviour."
The proposal, a copy of which was received by a news agency,
calls for a ban on women wearing swimsuits at beaches, islands
and swimming pools. It does not specify if it covers private
beaches run by hotels and resorts.
The amendment would need to be approved by
parliamentary panels, by parliament itself and also signed by
the conservative Muslim state`s ruling emir to become law.
The MPs complained of a spread of "indecent" practises
and warned that coastguards were unable to act against women
in indecent costume or for other violations of public order
because of a lack of clear legislation.
However, liberal woman MP Aseel al-Awadhi condemned
the proposal as contrary to the constitution and
"regrettable," asking why it failed to also make reference to
Kuwait, unlike neighbouring Saudi Arabia where women
have to be covered, does not impose any restriction on women`s
dress in public places.