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Empowering Kuwaiti women boosts Kuwait’s economic development

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: General Secretarial of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development held on Monday a meeting to launch the Women and Business Committee in the presence of Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah, founder of Alnowair initiative, Khaled Mahdi, Secretary General of the Council and Lubna Al-Qadi, representing Kuwait University.

The committee aims to highlight the role of women’s leadership in achieving the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals and Kuwait’s 2035 vision that supports empowering women economically to get involved in both private and public sectors to achieve more progress and prosperity for Kuwaiti women.

Mahdi told Kuwait Times that one of the reasons for establishing this committee is to upgrade the country’s rank in the women and business indices; therefore, several important decisions should be taken in the matter of women empowerment. “This indicator affects other economic indicators, so we seek to empower women in the political, social and economic aspects. These are in line with the New Kuwait 2035 vision and the policies of the development plan, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals approved by Kuwait and the countries of the world,” he said.

“In cooperation with Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah, we succeeded to establish a platform that is playing a great role in listing Kuwaiti women’s achievements. The platform is titled Kuwaiti Women Leaders for Change. In addition, the Women Empowerment Program (WPE) is under the supervision of Lubna Al-Qadi,” Mahdi added.

“The Kuwaiti Women Leaders for Change platform aims to create a list of all potential female leaders in Kuwait. This list will be available to all governmental and non-governmental decision makers to increase women in leadership roles in Kuwait,” Sheikha Intisar said. “The committee has been meeting for a year and we are currently launching it officially. We will be circulating the platform and sharing it with as many Kuwaiti women as we can, so they can join the platform. We will then select those who have leadership backgrounds to provide to governmental and non-governmental organizations and entities,” she said. “After we launched this platform, our next step will be to launch another platform with all NGOs and social societies related to women empowerment to support them to grow.”

The most important functions of the Women and Business Committee, as Mahdi mentioned in the meeting, is monitoring challenges in developing legislation regulating women and business; submitting recommendations to competent authorities on legislation and decisions that enhance the indicators of women and business issued by the World Bank; follow up the implementation of recommendations on legislation and decisions; and build an interactive platform under the slogan Kuwaiti Women Leaders for Change to support decision makers in selecting qualified Kuwaiti women to fill leadership positions.

“The current data indicates that the percentage of women in leadership positions in the state has reached 21 percent. After the appointment of four women in the Municipal Council, the victory of two women in the National Assembly elections and the appointment of two women ministers in the new government formation, we look forward to increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions. The formation of the new government follows the formation of new boards of directors in various government bodies, which were dissolved recently,” Mahdi said.

“In addition, there are other leadership positions vacant in all ministries and government agencies, and there is also an expansion in the private sector, and it was necessary for women to have a greater share in these vacancies in order to have an effective role, benefit from educated and experienced female cadre and achieve the desired change,” he added.

Mahdi said the most important objectives of the Kuwaiti Women Leaders for Change interactive platform is that it should serve as a database that collects all information related to women, their educational qualifications and experiences, and is available to all parties for use when needed; supporting decision makers in selecting qualified Kuwaiti women to occupy leadership positions; motivating women to interact and participate in the community with the Kuwaiti Women Leaders for Change platform to activate their role in empowering women to assume leadership positions; work to increase the percentage of women’s candidacies and their equal access with men to government leadership positions in all state institutions and economic and community boards of directors.

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