Bahraini women at center of nation-building efforts

(Photo: Jordan News)
MANAMA - Bahrain has accorded great importance to promoting the advancement of women and to their political, economic, social and cultural active engagement in recognition of their human rights and dignity.اضافة اعلان

The Kingdom has also regularly highlighted their role as pivotal partners in building the family, society and nation and in consolidating Bahrain's prosperity in light of the comprehensive and sustainable development process of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The establishment of the Supreme Council for Women headed by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of the Bahraini monarch, in 2001 was a milestone in the advancement of Bahraini women.

It has been sustaining their long record of achievements in formal education since 1928, nursing since 1941, municipal and banking work and civil society since the 1950s, medicine since 1969, and diplomatic, security, military and sports work since the 1970s.

Bahraini women are today keen on bolstering their achievements, building on their deep trust in the Bahraini institutions that have been working on equal opportunities and gender balances, guided and motivated by the Supreme Council for Women that are fully committed to elevating their status across all fields.

There is a strong sense of pride in the achievements that have enhanced the Kingdom’s respect of women’s rights and boosted their active role in the progress and prosperity of the nation under the leadership of Bahrain King Hamad and the support of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

Bahraini women, thanks to the unlimited support of the King, the government, have been able to confirm their status as dependable partners in the nation-building process and sustainable development.

Bahrain, under the follow-up of the Supreme Council for Women and in partnership between the executive, legislative and judicial authorities, has approved more than 150 royal orders, laws, legislative amendments, ministerial decisions and circulars during the last two decades.

This legal support vastly contributed to the protection and promotion of women’s rights. It includes, most notably, Family Law 19 of 2017, Law 17 of 2015 concerning Protection against Domestic Violence, and other developed legislation in accordance with the constitution and international covenants, mainly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) that the Kingdom joined in 2002.

This modern legislative system contributed to ensuring family stability, deepening family cohesion, integrating women’s needs into development in line with the National Plan for the Advancement of Bahraini Women (2013-2022), and consolidating justice by setting up a separate building for family courts in January 2018, which includes courtrooms, a family reconciliation office, services and an alimony fund office.

Bahraini women have actively participated in enriching democratic life since their participation in preparing and approving the National Action Charter, and exercising their political rights as voters and candidates in the parliamentary and municipal elections since 2002.

Women have won 15 percent of the seats in the Council of Representatives (The lower chamber of the bicameral parliament) and 23 percent in the Shura Council (The upper chamber). The Speaker of the Council of Representatives is a woman and the Second Deputy Chair of the Shura Council. Women represent 23 percent of the members of municipal councils and 12 percent of the judges.

The contribution of Bahraini women in the labor market increased to 43% of the total national workforce, and 47 percent of business owners thanks to the support and encouragement of the Supreme Council for Women and its distinguished initiatives such as the launch of the Bahraini Women’s Capacity Development Center "Riyadat".

Other initiatives include the creation of financial portfolios to finance commercial and investment activities for women, the Young Bahraini Businesswomen’s Excellence Honor, and the establishment and organization of the National Committee to Follow up the National Model by integrating women's needs into the government's action plan.

Other outstanding initiatives include the establishment of about 53 equal opportunities committees in the government sector, 20 committees in the private sector, and 18 committees in civil society.

The percentage of women in the government sector has risen to 55 percent, in the executive jobs to 46 percent and in specialized jobs to 62 percent.

Women were also at the front lines of Team Bahrain led by the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, with a representation of 75 percent of the members confronting the pandemic. They also had a particularly active role in the Together for the Safety of Bahrain campaign launched by the Supreme Council for Women and in the Your Remote Advisor program introduced to ensure the continuous provision of the Council’s psychological, family, legal and economic consultations.

Bahraini women have also left blazed impressive trails beyond the Kingdom's borders and held leadership positions.

They had a pivotal role in the establishment of the Arab Women Organization in 2002 and held the presidency of its second session. Princess Sabeeka was awarded"The Necklace of Arab Women" for her role in supporting the institutional movement for the advancement of Arab women.

Manama was selected the capital of Arab women in 2017. A Bahraini woman was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly as the first Arab and Muslim in 2006.

Bahraini women chaired the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the 36th session of the Women’s Committee of the Arab League.

The Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women's Empowerment, adopted by UN Women, was launched in recognition of the work of governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and individual champions towards empowering women worldwide.

Bahrain, under the leadership of King Hamad and with the support of the government and the Supreme Council for Women, is celebrating the 21stanniversary of the National Action Charter on February 14 amid renewed determination to continue the achievements of Bahraini women.

The Kingdom will remain fully engaged in reinforcing the specialstatusof women as active partners in the process of construction, modernization, and democratic and comprehensive development.

And an advanced model in consolidating justice, equality and equal opportunities for both sexes, in accordance with the Constitution, the Economic Vision and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

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