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Supreme Council for Women>Supreme Council for Women>Media Center>News>Council News>SCW Secretary-General highlights Bahrain’s women’s advancement strides
SCW Secretary-General highlights Bahrain’s women’s advancement strides

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Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), Hala Al-Ansari, said that Bahrain realised early on, and through the National Plan for the Advancement of Bahraini Women which was first devised about 20 years ago, that national development would not be possible unless it was based on the principles of equal participation of women and men in public life, and the integration women’s needs in the national development programmes.

 

Al-Ansari made the statements during her participation in a webinar organised remotely by the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Bahrain Embassy to US, in cooperation with the Wilson Centre, marking the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, and the adoption of the “Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action”.

 

During the webinar, Al-Ansari stressed Bahrain’s commitment to the “Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action” as a general framework for women’s advancement, noting that 25 years ino its inception, the Declaration remains a major reference and a source of guidance and inspiration.

 

She pointed out that Bahrain believes that in order to better benefit from the Declaration that encourages and supports sustained development of women and girls all over the world, there is a need to develop flexible evaluation and follow-up procedures that take into account the risk elements and the exceptional circumstances, as well as to develop the methodology of preparing periodic report to encourage and support knowledge management and transfer, through shedding light on the best practices and the success stories.

She also said that the work methodology should take into consideration countries’ specificity when meeting international expectations in order to ensure a fair measurement and evaluation of the effectiveness of national policies relating to women and girls.

She emphasised that Bahrain’s commitment towards women’s advancement is deeply rooted, citing Bahraini women’s early education, voting in municipal elections and  economic participation in vital sectors, such as health, banks, judiciary, engineering, among others.

She indicated that women’s early active involvement in public life has resulted in a steady increase in their access to decision-making posts, as they became ministers, ambassadors and parliamentarians, heads of specialised entities, in addition to reaching the helm of the Council of Representatives through free direct elections in 2018.

Al-Ansari said that Bahrain’s achievements in the field of women advancement are a source of pride, noting that maintaining such gains and optimising them are a challenge.

She added that despite the unprecedented challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Bahrain is following up on the changes and emerging opportunities in order to be able to adapt to the new situation, speed up the recovery process and carry on its national development process.

This forum, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Bahraini Embassy in Washington, coincides with the Kingdom’s celebration of the Bahraini Women's Day, which will honour women in the diplomatic field.

Secretary-General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, Dr. Salma Al-Nims, Director of the Centre for Women at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Dr. Mehrinaz El Awady, as well as the members of the Wilson Centre and persons concerned participated in the webinar.

The Wilson Centre’s “Middle East Programme” is the principal resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform US foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa region.

The Wilson Centre’s “Middle East Women's Initiative (MEWI)” promotes the empowerment of women in the region through an open and inclusive dialogue with women leaders from the Middle East and the world.