Muslim women in Kuwait have taken to the streets against the radical thinking government regarding yoga. Women protest in front of parliament against a ban on holding the first open air festival ‘Yoga Retreat’ to be held in Kuwait. In fact, an organization teaching yoga here had advertised organizing a ‘yoga retreat’ in the desert. After the advertisement was published, the radical leaders got furious. Seeing the growing controversy, the government banned the event.

Women doing yoga have told the decision of the government against their rights. Referring to personal freedom, women’s rights activist Najeeb Hayat said- ‘We have to protest in the cold night for our freedom. This struggle will continue till the government lifts the ban. The issue is increasing due to the performance of women. It is not just about yoga, but about women’s freedom of all kinds.

This is a new trend in itself in a Gulf country, in which Muslim women have resorted to yoga to raise their voice against radicalism. On the other hand, Kuwait’s pros and cons are almost identical. Opposition MP Hamdan al-Azmi has backed the ban, calling it a “cultural ridicule”. Elanod Alsharekh, who campaigns in support of women’s rights in Kuwait, said that Saudi Arabia is also slowly becoming aware of women’s freedom.

In the last three years, it has met many demands of women, while Kuwait is still known as a completely conservative and male dominated society. In such a situation, women themselves will have to raise their voice for their rights. On the other hand, the government maintains that yoga is external, it has never been valid in Kuwaiti society. That’s why we have to continue with the ban on doing yoga in the open.

Such a rule – if the wife was killed on suspicion of character, then only 3 years sentence
is going on between the Kuwaiti government and progressive thinking women. Here, if a man kills his wife on the suspicion of having an affair with another man, then he is punished with only 3 years in jail or a fine of only $ 46 (Rs 3,400). In such a situation, women’s organizations say that the government itself is promoting honorkilling. That’s why movement is necessary. Such rules have to be abolished in the changing society.


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