Last Updated: Mon Nov 29, 2010 17:05 pm (KSA) 14:05 pm (GMT)

Kuwait MPs want jail terms for women in swimsuits

The lawmakers also said that the same penalty should apply to women who reveal their upper chest or take part in "indecent behavior" (File)
The lawmakers also said that the same penalty should apply to women who reveal their upper chest or take part in "indecent behavior" (File)

Five Islamist MPs in the Gulf state of Kuwait on Monday proposed a one-year prison term and $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 behavior."

The proposal, a copy of which was received by AFP, 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" practices 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 men.

Kuwait has so far not imposed any restriction on women's dress in public places.

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