Kuwaiti Feminists Reject US Army-Run Martial Arts Campaign: ‘We Remember Iraq'

Published December 8th, 2021 - 07:42 GMT
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The world continues to campaign against gender-based violence till Dec 10th. (Twitter: @_3aiiv)

As international organizations continue to highlight the dangers of gender-based violence in the week prior to the world Human Rights Day on 10th December, a campaign announced in Kuwait in cooperation with the US army has triggered anger amongst Kuwaiti feminists who went online to explain what is wrong with the campaign.

The free-of-charge martial arts training that has been named "be strong" is aimed to train Kuwaiti women on combating gender-based violence. However, the fact that it is run by officers in the US army has triggered the emotions of Kuwaiti women who took to social media to protest they fact that they are being invited to a training run by the same military that invaded Iraq in 2003.

Translation: "We reject the American presence in our civic organizations. As women, we don't accept to receive training from those who practiced all sorts of violence, killings, and rape against women in countries they invaded."

Translation: "The training will be on how to torture and rape women and children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo."

Online, Kuwaiti women used the hashtag #قاطعن_مبادرة_كوني_قوية (boycott the 'be strong initiative') to express their rejection of the campaign, highlighting human rights violations committed by the US army during the years that followed the Iraq invasion in 2003.

Some social media commentators also shared photos of infamous torture acts committed by US officers in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, saying the same establishment can not be trusted in training women to face gender-based violence.

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