KUWAIT: Seven goals have been set to enhance the role of women in society and the workforce, in compliance with Kuwait's plan for development as part of the New Kuwait 2035 vision. "The development plan aims to have women occupy 35 percent of executive roles in compliance with the fifth goal of the development plan," said General Secretary of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development Dr Khaled Mahdi.

Mahdi added that "Kuwait has set forth a variety of laws, as well as signed international agreements to improve women's position in the workforce". Women have proven their capability to lead the workforce and achieved many accomplishments, which encourages the country to provide more capabilities for women and give them a chance to hold more effective roles. "During the COVID pandemic, women played a heroic role in all the different sectors and proved their excellence in all of these fields," he added.

Mahdi also expressed his admiration of the private sector's role in providing women the opportunity to work and train through workshops, as well as giving them an opportunity to hold executive positions, which are important to reach these goals. "A platform to improve women's role is now available on LinkedIn under the banner 'Kuwaiti Women Leaders", which allows executives of companies to choose capable leaders for their companies," Mahdi said.

Acting United Nations representative for development Khaled Shahwan said Kuwait is taking important steps towards achieving the complete national plan, as the SCPD has arranged technical consultancy with nationals and international organizations like the UN's development program and the UN's committee for women. As of today, around 44 companies have signed contracts to enhance women's role on all levels and positions in line with Kuwait's vision for 2035.

Dr Lubna Al-Qadhi, vice president of the women's committee in the SCPD said "this event is the fifth of its kind to encourage private companies to sign on the principles of enhancing women's role in their institutions, as many local and foreign companies in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry have expressed their agreement". Zain Telecommunications company was the first to sign this initiative, and many private institutions from banking to education have also signed the initiative to boost women's role.

Today, women play an effective role in the private sector, as important members initiated a platform in June of this year called 'WEEP Kuwait', which will help this initiative. Moreover, Gulf Bank and National Bank of Kuwait both expressed that enhancing women's role is a priority in order to have equal opportunity in the workforce. Gulf Bank was the first bank to sign the initiative. As for NBK, women represent 30 percent of supervisory roles of its total employees.