Nestled among glittering skyscrapers, Kuwaiti citizens enjoy the good fortune of living a life of luxury- shopping at designer malls, dining at the finest restaurants, travelling the world on a whim. But living the first class lifestyle has some societal side effects- the price tag that is placed on marriage. These days, the parents of a lovely bride-to-be often demand a six-figure dowry for their daughter’s hand in matrimony.
According to an article from the Muslim Observer, many Kuwaiti men are choosing to marry non-Kuwaiti women in order to save a literal fortune. The result of rising dowry prices has resulted in a rising number of unmarried Kuwaiti women.
It can’t be denied that the government of Kuwait looks after its people, from the cradle to the grave. Health and education are free, and each child receives $275 every month until they are 18.
On top of these standard benefits, Kuwait’s Emir has just given a gift of $3600 and 14 months of free food to all citizens in honour of the 50th and 20th anniversaries of Kuwaiti independence and liberation from Iraqi aggression, both in February. A fine cause for celebration!
A government like this won’t stand by to watch its female population pass into spinsterhood, so they’ve come up with a new proposal to encourage Kuwaitis to marry other Kuwaitis instead of foreigners.
The proposed marriage grant aims to double the amount of money a Kuwaiti man receives upon marriage if the bride is also a compatriot, bringing the total grant to over $27,000. Another proposal would grant money for men taking a second wife who is divorced, widowed or over 40 and never married. And this is in additional to the new house that is also given as a wedding gift!
Money Isn’t Everything
The marriage grant is certainly well intentioned, but love and money can be a tricky combination. Getting married is only the beginning, the real challenge lies in the years to come after the wedding. Having enough money sure takes some of the stress off, but Kuwait still has a divorce rate that has surpassed 50%. Maybe the next grant will fund marriage counseling!