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Kuwaiti women.. A journey of achievements, empowerment

Kuwaiti women have been empowered in various fields, armed with education and qualifications based on the abundant share of rights they enjoy, by the Kuwaiti Constitution.

Kuwait has taken many decisions to enhance the status of women locally and internationally and has supported many draft laws in conferences and meetings in the United Nations.

May 16, 2005 marked a historical milestone in the Kuwaiti democratic process and a turning point in the lives of Kuwaiti women as they gained their political rights in candidacy and election.

On the aforementioned day, the Kuwaiti National Assembly officially approved women’s political rights as a culmination of an initiative launched in 1999 by late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah as he believed that Kuwaiti women are an essential and integral part of society.

The National Assembly elections in 2006 witnessed the first participation of Kuwaiti women in candidacy and election, while 2008 elections witnessed 27 women applying for candidacy.

In 2009, Kuwaiti women were able to mark a historic achievement as four won seats in the Kuwaiti National Assembly out of 17 candidates; Dr. Masouma Al-Mubarak, Dr. Aseel AlAwadhi, Dr. Rola Dashti and Dr. Salwa Al-Jassar.

Kuwait celebrates Kuwaiti Women’s Day on May 16 every year as an affirmation and demonstration of their positive and pioneering role and its continuous giving in building the society.

Kuwait has recently witnessed a new achievement added to the credit of Kuwaiti women with Dr. Reem Al-Shammari winning the 2024 Woman of Cybersecurity Award for the Arab World.

This was the first regional honor of its kind at the (GISEC) global conference to honor distinguished women at the level of the Arab world. On leadership, the percentage of women’s representation in ministerial positions reached 28% in the public sector, while the number of women doubled in the police, diplomatic, oil, and judicial sectors as in 2023.

Kuwaiti women also recorded a presence in the economic sector, where their percentage of leadership and supervisory positions in the Central Bank of Kuwait reached 41%.

On May 11, 2024, an Amiri decree was issued to form the new cabinet which included two women; Minister of Public Works, Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr. Noura Al-Mashaan and Minister of Social Affairs, Family affairs and Childhood, Minister of State for youth Affairs Dr. Amthal Al-Huwailah.

In a statement to KUNA, Dr. Masouma Al-Mubarak, the first female minister in Kuwait history said that Kuwaiti women have their rights and duties, and they have played their role to constitute a significant percentage in the state sectors especially in education and health.

Dr. Al-Mubarak added that Kuwaiti women have been empowered to hold positions in all sectors and have proven their impressive excellence and that they are scientifically and professionally qualified in various fields.

She pointed out that the first part of empowering women is related to the woman herself, as she must strive and struggle, and the second falls on the responsibility of institutions, decisionmakers, and laws to develop women’s capabilities.

She praised the level of empowerment and achievements of Kuwaiti women, hoping to see more of women’s contribution in occupying leadership positions.

For her part, Head of Mission of UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) to GCC and Kuwait Dr. Amira Al-Hassan told KUNA that the most prominent factor that made Kuwaiti women excel and prove their presence in all fields was the absolute support they received.

Al-Hassan said that in addition to the government support, efforts included developing educational policies, raising awareness of the importance of women’s role in society, strengthening legislation to protect their rights, and expanding their participation in all fields, family support is also important to provide the best education and qualifications for their daughters.

She added that this cooperation between the political leadership, Kuwaiti families, and the legislative authority is considered evidence of societal commitment to empowering women and ensuring their rights.

She explained that woman’s rights in Kuwait cannot be limited to the right to run and elect, which she obtained in 2005, but rather they have existed for a long time.

In 1993, Nabila Al-Mulla was the first Kuwaiti ambassador to gain the confidence of the political leadership. In the same year, Dr. Fayza Al-Kharafi was appointed to be the first director of Kuwait University, and the list goes on with the names of prominent Kuwaiti women in various fields. Dr. Al-Hassan stressed the importance of empowering women in the political field by strengthening laws that support equality.

Source: KUNA

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