In most countries, a woman wearing a bikini to the beach is nothing out of the ordinary. In some, however, it’s enough for a woman to lose custody of her children.
According to RYOT.org, that is precisely what happened to an unnamed, divorced Kuwaiti mother who went to the beach in another country. The woman was accompanied by her children, and a man who wasn’t related to her.
When her ex-husband found pictures of her in the bikini, he took them to court, where a judge reportedly deemed that she wasn’t fit to take care of her kids.
Specifically, Yousuf Hussein, the ex-husband’s lawyer, is said to have noted that the mother’s lifestyle was “unfit” for child care.
Furthermore, the pictures apparently showed that she wasn’t “trustworthy”; her “indecent” outfit was indicative of a “deficiency in her morals.”
She has since reportedly lost custody of her children.
Conservative lawmakers and officials have even gone so far as to insist that “wearing a bikini is not a personal choice or a matter of personal freedom”; instead, they consider it “an assault on local values and sense of decency and modesty.”
The decision has had a larger impact across the country, too. It reportedly served as the inspiration behind the new rule, proposed by Hamdan Al-Azemi, head of Kuwait’s “Anti-Social Behavior Committee”, that states that “nudity” should be banned from public places like hotel hallways and swimming pools.
However, Al-Azemi declined to offer a closer definition of nudity.
“None of the negative phenomena that are alien to the Kuwaiti culture need to be specifically defined,” Al-Azemi stated. “They are anything that clashes with the precepts of Islam and the norms and traditions of the Kuwaiti community.”
Although the rule hasn’t yet been passed, if the committee approves it, it will be passed up to the parliament and then to government.
If the rule is approved at each step along the way, the ban on “nudity” will become Kuwait’s law.
The proposal comes several years after Kuwaiti lawmakers’ unsuccessful attempt at passing a bill that would punish bikini-wearers with up to a year in prison.