Equal Opportunity Employment Mocked in Kuwait


Where to start?

With the turn of the Century, a certain established list of criteria have become important when requesting an applicant to apply for a job.

Equal opportunity laws are enacted in the Western World to guarantee that no one is discriminated against based on their Race, Color, Nationality, Religion, Gender, Age, perceived intelligenceDisability etc. Meaning, you cannot post an ad for a job opening and specify that a certain gender/age/nationality can only apply.

Not only that, lets say that a company does not blatantly advertise that, but they do however scrutinize the applicants on a certain set of criteria, if one of the applicants feels they were disregarded for a superficial reason, they can file a lawsuit against the company. So, even if you do and do not say, you will be punished any way.

Despite this being a law in the Western World, it is as yet a non-prevailing practice on this side of the world.

The ad above is definitely an award winner for the most blatant disregard for equal opportunity; lets see how:

From the bat, it asks for females ONLY to work for a Kuwaiti Businessman, meaning male secretaries (or Administrative Assistants) need not bother to apply.

The first requirement put forth, she must be good looking and presentable. Who is to judge? Last I read the position was secretary, not model. Moving on.

2, Age to be no older than 30. Meaning if you are a 31 year old good looking female, don’t bother applying. Moving on.

3, non-veiled. So, if you are a good looking, 20-something veiled girl, do not bother applying. Another hurdle to cross.

4 & 5 are not so bad, although point 5 asks for complete dedication to work, what about life – family, friends, boyfriend, fiancé etc?

6 works evening only. It really makes me wonder what exactly is this Businessman hiring this woman for. Moving on.

7 A salary of 700KD. Very enticing, what experience is required for this, university graduate? Oh wait, nothing has been mentioned, so if you are a beautiful, non-veiled, 20-something girl, with or without a university degree, and with or without previous experience, this can be your starting salary.

8 Probation period, nothing wrong there. But, saving the best for last.

9 Applicants from the following nationalities only will be accepted – Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Lebanese, Moroccan. Meaning, if you are a beautiful, 20-something, non-veiled woman who has no problem working evening hours and is dedicated to her work, however you are from Syria, no dice.

After this last criteria, it really begs the question as to what this businessman is hiring this secretary for exactly.

I have met quite a few women who turned out jobs as secretaries for the preconceived notion that it may lead to an affair down the line, or at least put them in an uncomfortable position. Given the above ad, I’m guessing its not just a preconceived notion, it may be a cold, hard fact.

It is not strange to find similar ads plastered all over newspapers here in Kuwait, whether they be weeklies or daily ad papers.

On a last note, please consider this, the ad above, boasting a salary of 700KD + incentives, has no mention of experience necessary.

Just sayin’.

An to further bring the point home, a script from Seinfeld (sorry, couldn’t find the scene on Youtube) where Elaine and Jerry are discussing the “new management” at their local coffee shop.

ELAINE: (to the waitress) Could we get a little more? (she doesn’t listen and walks away) Aghh… You know ever since this new owner took over, the service here is *really* slow.

JERRY: Yeah. Have you noticed anything else that’s different since the new management?

ELAINE: Mmm. They’re putting a little lemon in the tuna. I love that.

JERRY: Beside that. Look at the waitresses.

ELAINE: Yeah? (we see that all the waitresses have big breasts)

JERRY: What physical characteristic would you say is common to all of them?


JERRY: I mean look at this. Every waitress working here has the same proportions. Wouldn’t you say?

ELAINE: Yes, I would say.

JERRY: What’s going on here. How is that possible?

ELAINE: Do you think it’s a coincidence?

JERRY: No. I haven’t seen four women like this together outside of a Russ Meyer film.

(the waitress finally came with the coffee)

ELAINE: (to the waitress) Hi. Excuse me. Who does all the hiring waitresses here?

WAITRESS: He does. (pointing to the manager, Mr. Visaki) In fact we’re looking for another girl if you know anyone. (she walks away)

ELAINE: You know what? That’s discriminatory. That is unfair. Why should these women have all the advantages? It’s not enough they get all the attention from men, they have to get all the waitress jobs, too?

JERRY: Hey that’s life. Good-looking men have the same advantages. You don’t see any handsome homeless.

(scene cuts to Elaine who enters and walks to the manager)


Mr. VISAKI: (foreign accent) What can I do for you? Would you like a table.


ELAINE: No, I’d like to apply for a waitress job.


Mr. VISAKI: (looks Elaine up and down) Have you ever waited on tables before.


ELAINE: Oh yeah. I’ve been a professional waitress for the last 10 years. I’ve worked all over the city. These, uh, are my references. I’m sure you’ll find that I’m more than qualified.


Mr. VISAKI: I don’t think I need anyone else right now.


ELAINE: You’re in big trouble mister. And I mean trouble with a capital ‘T’. (she leaves)


Mr. VISAKI: What? What did I do?


(scene ends)




[setting: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office]


ELAINE: Anyway there’s at least four of them, and they’re all huge. And one is bigger than the next. It’s like a Russ Meyer movie.


FRED: Who’s Russ Meyer?


ELAINE: Oh, he’s this guy who made these terrible movies in the 70’s with these kinds of women. He’s obsessed. He’s obsessed with breasts. That’s hard to say.


FRED: Anyway, go on.


ELAINE: Um… Well, there’s not really much more to tell. He was looking for waitresses, and I went in to apply for the job. And, he looked me up and down and he rejected me.


FRED: (to a guy in the hall at the water cooler machine) Paul. Come in for a second. I want you to listen to this.


PAUL: (to Elaine) Hi.




FRED: Paul, woman here claims there’s a restaurant on the West side that’s only hiring large-breasted women.


PAUL: (to Elaine) Really?






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