KUWAIT: Kuwait’s women have been playing, throughout history, a leading and effective role in the country’s development in all fields. They have overcome challenges and achieved outstanding successes that enabled them to obtain leadership roles regionally and internationally. They carried on with their role in building the society until they obtained their political rights on May 16, 2005, when they ran for and got elected to the National Assembly in 2006 for the first time.
In 2008, some 27 women ran in the National Assembly election, which helped them gain experience to win seats in the National Assembly election in 2009. Dr Maasouma Al-Mubarak, Dr Salwa Al-Jassar, Dr Aseel Al-Awadhi and Dr Rola Dashti won in the 2009 parliament election, which was a great event in Kuwait.
As Kuwaiti women continue to play their role in society, they have had clear imprints in the public and private sectors and have proven their effective and vital presence in the development process, in particular the 2035 New Kuwait vision. Over the years, Kuwaiti women’s gains have increased year after year, witnessing jumps in the percentage of women leaders to reach 21 percent, while Kuwaiti women constitute 59 percent of the country’s workforce, higher than the global average of 39 percent.
The constitutional foundations are an important factor that has helped Kuwaiti women achieve their gains, as the constitution does not discriminate between women and men in obtaining rights, as well as Kuwait’s commitment to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to which it acceded in 1994, as well as a set of national legislation aimed at supporting and promoting and protecting their rights.
Maha Al-Baghli, Municipality Councilmember, said: “Kuwaiti women have joined all fields and got leading posts in the private and public sectors.” Amal Al-Abdulkarim said: “Over the decades, Kuwaiti women have played important roles in the development of the country as well as the maintenance and strengthening of security in times of peace and war, proving their ability to face challenges and difficulties to be an active partner in building Kuwait.”
Abdulkarim said history does not overlook the role of Kuwaiti women during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990, as they proved their role as resistance fighters alongside men and martyrs whose souls paid the price for the liberation of Kuwait. “The march continued in the post-liberation phase and its role in extinguishing burning oilwell fires and the advancement of women, including the remarkable contribution of Sarah Akbar in this matter. Kuwaiti women were able to consolidate their position among the women of Arab societies, as they gained leadership and precedence regionally as well as globally by assuming various positions in various leadership, economic, cultural, political and administrative fields,” she clarified.
Meanwhile, Maali Al-Asousi, a humanitarian advisor, said: “Kuwait’s women have a key role in the society and effective contributions to voluntary and humanitarian action. The recent efforts were their participation in combating the coronavirus. Economic and political freedom helped Kuwait’s women obtain the most leading posts in the state.”
Alia Johar, a media person, stressed the significant role of Kuwaiti women in enriching literature in the Arab world, referring to several contributions by Kuwaiti women in the media, despite challenges to prove their excellence and be effective in varied media outlets.
Finally, Bedour Al-Sumait, head of the Business and Professional Women’s Federation, said: “The country’s leadership has backed and encouraged women to practice their effective role and achieve comprehensive development. This helped them obtain several leading and administrative positions in the country, in addition to judicial, military, economic and diplomatic institutions.” She said that women’s media career is full of achievements despite their struggles to become active in various print, visual and audio media, as they put their mark in preparing programs with professionalism and credibility. — KUNA