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Dutch official ‘inspired’ by Kuwaiti women

KUWAIT: Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yoka Brandt meets members of the board of trustees of the Kuwaiti Women’s Cultural and Social Society (KWCSS) on Wednesday. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The rights of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis, more women in the parliament and honor killings were among the subjects discussed during a brief meeting with Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yoka Brandt as she visited the Kuwaiti Women’s Cultural and Social Society (KWCSS) on Wednesday. She met members of the board of trustees and discussed issues related to rights of children and women.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Brandt lauded Kuwaiti women for their energy and enthusiasm concerning very relevant and important issues of the society. “I am inspired talking to the women of Kuwait. I think it’s amazing that women here are putting so much energy into issues affecting them. This is positive impression and we would like to congratulate them,” she said.

Brandt noted that issues about women are almost similar in most countries worldwide. “We still have a long way to go and I have always noticed the fact that wherever you go, in the Netherlands or elsewhere including Kuwait, the issues are almost the same but the context is different,” she noted. “It’s always great to share how we can help each other and how we can encourage each other. But the truth of the matter is that we also need the man, and I hope men will join us in the struggle, because both will benefit,” she said.

KWCSS Chairperson Lulwa Al-Mulla said most of the activities of the society are related to women empowerment, education, care for women and their families, which includes children and the stability of the family. “The society has raised several women’s issues in the parliament and the Cabinet,” she said. “We are committed to changing the perception about us, and we will continue the struggle until all rights are equally granted to us. We want more women in decision making too.”

Mulla argued there are far more educated women in Kuwait compared to men. “We are committed to helping the society and raising our head high; we still have many issues in Kuwait and we want to bring all of them in the open so people will be aware,” she said. The society has conducted several projects abroad, mostly in occupied Palestinian territories. “We are helping women in Palestine and Kosovo to be more resilient and proactive. We help through monetary assistance from Zakat House or charity events,” she added.

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