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Society of Kuwait

Kuwait City souk
Kuwait City souk

For Muslims across the world, the beginning of the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar which marks the start of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayers and fasting.
During Ramadan practising Muslims do not eat, drink, smoke or have sex between sunrise and sunset. Approximately half of Kuwait’s population is Kuwaiti. The other half consists of a foreign workforce that includes well-paid, largely Arab and Western white-collar workers at its apex and a much larger group of poorly paid foreign labourers, largely from the Indian subcontinent. The national population is predominantly Sunni, with a significant Shiite minority. Stateless residents, called bedoun (from bidun jinsiya, ‘without nationality’) constitute another element of Kuwaiti society. The sharpest social divisions in Kuwait are between citizens and expatriates, Sunnis and Shiites, and hadar (the settled, Sunni urban elite) and badu (Bedouin tribes who settled largely in the mid-late 20th century).

Further Reading

According to social anthropologist Anh Nga Longva, one of the most astute observers of contemporary Kuwaiti society, Kuwaiti society as a whole has been raised to a higher material level with the coming of oil.
The family (aila) is the central institution around which practically all aspects of Kuwaiti society, including the economic and political, revolve. This fact is emphasized by Article 9 of the Constitution, which asserts that 'the...
Kuwaiti households increasingly resemble the typical 'modern' nuclear family of one husband, one spouse, and two or three children. The number of children in the Kuwaiti nuclear family has decreased rapidly since independence.
Although Kuwait ranks highest (37th) of all Middle Eastern countries on the UNDP gender-related development index, discrimination against women in Kuwait is widespread and has been institutionalized in many laws.
According to UNDP figures, 23.8 percent of the Kuwaiti population in 2005 was younger than 15, far above the global average of 18 percent for under-15s in high-income countries but significantly lower than the global under-15 popu...
Kuwait has the highest adult literacy rates in the Gulf region, 93.9 percent for males and 91.8 percent for females in 2008, according to the UNESCO.
A 2006 report by WHO warned Kuwait that, although it had made great progress during the second half of the 20th century, its health services have to continue to develop, in order to meet the demands of the 21st century.
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, about 300 NGOs are registered in Kuwait. They are active in such areas as health, human rights, environment, and welfare. Although they have a formal 'non-government' status, most of th...
Assessing the level of crime in Kuwait is extremely difficult or impossible. Reliable official information is lacking, and there is the problem of defining 'crime' in both international and local terms.

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