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Kuwaiti women given more rights in new Bill

Parliament adds new provisions to the existing civil service law

Gulf News

Manama: Kuwaiti women have been granted more rights in a Bill submitted by the parliament.

The Bill that adds new provisions to the existing civil service law, was approved on Wednesday by 35 MPs out of the 53 legislators present at the session, and opposed by 12 lawmakers. Six abstained from voting.

Under the Bill, an employed married women is granted the social premium if her husband is not given the allotment from the state treasury.

Kuwaiti women and non-Kuwaiti women married to Kuwaiti men are granted the children's allocation in case the father does not receive the state premium or the mother has no financial support for custody of the young.

This provision applies to Kuwaiti working women if the husband is dead or if she is divorced or incapable of earning money.

Under another amendment, a pregnant Kuwaiti employee is granted a fully-paid 70-day leave for delivery, provided that she gives birth during the set period.

Parenting leave is set at four months following the birth, with the first and second months fully paid and the other two months for half salaries.

A fourth amendment gives the Kuwaiti woman civil servant an unpaid leave for a period between six months and three years during the period of her service, provided that she has worked for five years, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said.

The Kuwaiti civil servants, men and women, are granted a fully-paid leave to accompany a sick father or mother in his or her care or the spouse or a child for treatment abroad.

A female employee with a fully-paid leave is entitled to accompany an ill child during his  or her stay at hospital locally. A male employee is also granted such a leave to be with a sick parent for local treatment, according to terms set by the Civil Service Commission.

The sixth amendment entitles the employees, men and women, to apply for a paid-leave to accompany the spouse if sent abroad on educational, scientific assignments, study scholarships, a long or short-term official mission, provided that the duration does not exceed six consecutive months.

However, such a provision is not extended to employees under probation or who have worked less than six months.

An breastfeeding working woman can leave work two hours before the end of the shift on daily basis. A Muslim wife of a husband who passes away is given a leave of four months and ten days, while a non-Muslim wife is granted a similar leave of 21 days.

The ninth amendment allows civil servants to request less work hours in return for a reduction of the salary.