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Kuwaiti activist honored with top French award
February 11, 2017, 5:14 pm

Dr. AlAnoud Al Sharekh was decorated with the French National Order of Merit by the Ambassador of France to Kuwait H.E. Christian Nakhlé, at a special ceremony held at his residence on Wednesday 8 February.

Dr.  AlAnoud joined the elite few Kuwait nationals who have been recognised by the President of France for their outstanding work and contribution to society.  Dr. AlAnoud  was recognised for her exemplary work in women’s rights in Kuwait, the Middle East and around the world. Ambassador Nakhlé who presented the medal on behalf of the president of France spoke eloquently on her achievements adding that she was a role model for female activists and the best evidence that Kuwaiti women were making a difference in their society.

In her remarks, Dr. AlAnoud thanked the French Embassy for their recognition and said she considered this medal as an award to civil society in Kuwait. She added there was still much work left to be done.

During the past 18 years she has been an outspoken advocate for women and minority rights in Kuwait, Dr. AlAnoud utilizes her voice as a member of Kuwait’s thriving civil society and an academic to help facilitate public discussion about pivotal issues facing Arab society.  She lectures in institutions in the region and abroad, and has published numerous books and articles focusing on political identity, cultural politics, gender and kinship policies in the Arabian Gulf.

Dr. AlAnoud serves as an advisor to a number of local and international governmental bodies and NGOs, offering her insights on various cultural and socio-political issues in the region.  She has worked as a gender politics consultant for UNIFEM, Freedom House, and the UNDP on academic and social outreach projects in Kuwait and the GCC, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

Her previous posts include Senior Fellow for Regional Politics at the International Institute of Strategic Studies and Senior Political Analyst at the Kuwait National Security Bureau and Consultant Researcher at the Supreme Council for Development and Planning in Kuwait.

She has also held numerous teaching positions throughout her career, both in Kuwait and abroad, with posts at Kuwait University, Gulf University of Science and Technology and the Arab Open University, as well as being a visiting lecturer at Uppsala University, Sweden and SOAS London, and a Fulbright Scholar on Women and Islam at Whittier College, USA. She is also heavily involved with a number of non-profit organizations and civic society groups, including STAND, Soroptimists Kuwait and Abolish 153 – the campaign to fight honor killing legislation, which she founded and currently serves as Co-Director of, as well as being the acting director of the Friends who Care Campaign that seeks to help at-risk young women (under the age of 21) within Kuwait’s social care system.

Dr. AlAnoud holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from King’s College, London, where she graduated with Honors in 1996. She completed her post-graduate education at the SOAS in London, earning a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and English-Arabic Language and Translation, and a PhD in Near and Middle Eastern Studies – Comparative Literature and Feminism. 


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