A delegation of 12 Kuwaiti women’s empowerment advocates concluded a five-day visit to the EU institutions in Brussels, where they had the opportunity to exchange with European experts on learnings and best practices to accelerate women’s empowerment.
The visit, which took place between 18 and 21 September 2023, aimed to enhance dialogue and networking opportunities between the EU and the visiting Kuwaiti delegation, foster closer people-to-people exchanges and enhance cooperation. The Kuwaiti participants came from all walks of life, including government, business, media, civil society and academia, sharing a common passion and commitment to enhance women’s empowerment in Kuwait.
In Brussels, the Kuwaiti delegation met with senior EU officials from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European External Action Service, civil society organisations, as well as students and academics, exchanging best practices and identifying bilateral cooperation opportunities. A dedicated panel discussion was also held at the College of Europe, the oldest postgraduate institute of European studies, on policies that are being introduced to accelerate women’s empowerment and inclusion. The participants also had the opportunity to enjoy aspects of Belgian culture including a visit to the picturesque city of Bruges.
Speaking on the importance of this visit, Irina Gusacenko, focal point for Gender Equality at the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Kuwait said: “Women’s empowerment is a top priority for the EU. The European Union is delighted to exchange views and best practices with such an inspiring group of Kuwaiti women. The EU remains committed to promoting dialogue and bilateral cooperation on women empowerment, which is the basis for building strong, innovative, inclusive, and thriving societies”.
Commenting on the familiarisation visit, Dr. Lubna Al-Kazi, Professor at Kuwait University, founder and director of the Women’s Research and Studies Center added: “The trip organized by the EU Kuwait was an excellent way to build bridges of friendship and mutual understanding. The women leaders were from different sectors in Kuwait and showed the progress made here in different professions. This visit has helped us to see the best practices of the European Union in women’s empowerment and at the same time given us the opportunity to show the work we are doing here.”
This visit comes in the context of the EU’s Joint Communication on a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf, which aims at enhancing EU’s cooperation with the Gulf. This strategy presented concrete proposals to strengthen cooperation on energy, green transition, climate change, trade and economic diversification as well as facilitating people-to-people contacts. Women’s empowerment is cuts across all of these topics.
Mona Al-Arbash, Dalal Al-Dosari, Dr. Manal Al-Daihani, Najla Al-Sager, Dr. Zainab Al-Musailekh, Zainab Haider, Mashael Al-Shuwaihan, Hanan Al-Zayed, Dr. Amar Behbehani, Shaima bin Hussein and Dr. Bibi Ashour at the European Union institutions in Brussels: