"Women play an integral and indispensable part in social development and modernization," and it is vital the international community finds solutions for women's causes, "and particularly address their economic concerns, through special programs executed in partnership between the rich and the less fortunate countries of the world," a Kuwaiti official told a UN meeting on Tuesday.
The remark was made in the Kuwaiti delegation's speech at the 58th session of the Commission on Status of Women in New York, March 10-20. The Kuwaiti speaker was head of a delegation and Chairwoman of the Kuwaiti Council of Ministers' Women Affairs Committee, Sheikha Latifa Al-Fahad Al-Salem Al-Sabah.
Kuwait started its efforts to create a society with instilled human rights values started in its earliest days, she said, and the country is now supporting all efforts towards realizing the millennium goals and stressing gender equality, "and this is even labeled 'a priority' in both the short and long term development plans of the country."
As to actual achievements, she said Kuwait is making good progress in the areas of education and reduction of illiteracy, in provision of comprehensive healthcare for women, bringing down fatalities among infants, and in the areas of equal opportunity in employment in both state and private sector positions.
There was also progress in the area of political empowerment of women, she stressed, through appointing suitably qualified women in leading positions and of economic empowerment through encouragement of small businesses.
Sheikha Latifa said the world realizes fully the scale of the challenge and the seriousness of the impediments hindering progress on the main goal for the coming phase, which is developmental empowerment of women.
This particular goal requires a concentration of effort on protecting women rights and eliminating all forms of violence against women, both essential if women are to be able to assume their proper role and be able to develop themselves and their society.
While this is more or less the plan on local national level, on international level there is a need for greater cooperation and partnership between the world's rich and poor nations, she noted, if this goal is to be met.
"We have great hopes for the outcomes and recommendations after this session, and we are hopeful for solutions and mechanisms that would empower women through exchange of expertise and stress on good practices within a collective desire to overcome challenge," she said.