Kuwaiti Anger: Women Can’t Visit Gynecologists if They are not Married!

Published September 10th, 2019 - 09:40 GMT
A photo taken in one of Kuwait's public hospitals. It reads: "Patients visiting gynecologists required to bring marriage contract". (Twitter)
A photo taken in one of Kuwait's public hospitals. It reads: "Patients visiting gynecologists required to bring marriage contract". (Twitter)

An uproar among Kuwaitis is rising after an image went viral of a banner requiring women who want to visit a gynecologist in public hospitals to have their marriage contracts with them.

It is believed to have its roots in a social culture that prevented women from seeking medical help from a gynecologist especially if they are not married in spite of any suffering they may have.

The photo image first shared by Arwa Al Wagayan, a journalist, writer, and social activist who directly addressed the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health speaking against the laws that prevent older and young non-married women from visiting doctors due to outdated social norms.

Translation: "This was seen in the Sager Health Center in Adailiya. This is a hospital and not a hotel that pushes its guardianship laws against women. Since when is it forbidden for non-married women to receive full health care?”

The post circulated the internet and went viral shortly after, prompting a conversation on societal norms that often prevents women from speaking up about their health problems amidst fears of family or society's negative reactions.

Translation: “They claim if the woman is not married and suffers from any sexual disease, it means she is a slut and does not deserve treatment!”.

Some have accused the Ministry of Health of discrimination against women and enforcing male guardianship laws against non-married women.

Meanwhile, and up till now there is no official response or comment from the ministry over this.

Many have told of their traumatic experiences when attempting to visit gynecologists without being married.

Translation: “I remember once my doctor referred me to the hospital and they did not allow me to see the gynecologist until my mother came because I am not married.”

Translation: “One doctor at this hospital advised me to be more committed to religion and “wear hijab” as the first step of treatment. Is this a hospital, or an Islamic Center for preaching!”


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