Women’s Status in Bahrain
What success did Bahrain’s main women’s organisation achieve?
The problem of gender inequality was voiced in the reports of many international participants of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. Shaikha Deena Rashed Mohmmed Alkhalifa, the General Director of Policy and Development of Supreme Council for Women of Bahrain, spoke on that issue. She told about the results of her organisation’s activity.
Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Women has been established in 2001. The Council monitors and controls women’s labour and education inclusion. 16 women work there. Their job is to develop strategies and propose amendments.
The Council’s key concept is to show to all the women in the Kingdom how they can unleash their great potential. Thus, organisation’s members actualise a number of initiatives of women’s empowerment.
The Council joins forces for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The King of Bahrain actively supports organisation’s initiatives. Both public and private organisations are closely collaborating with the Council of Women and promoting the implementation of various documents.
The General Director said that it is essential for the Council to share about the existing problems and involve women in different spheres of society. The Council of Women has its own Information Centre, which creates databases and establishes research. Here are some of this work’s results mentioned by the speaker:
- for the last 40 years, women’s representation in labour market rose from 4% to 32%;
- gender pay gap has been gradually decreasing, making women of Bahrain earn 66% more;
- women’s life expectancy increased to 77 years, they all have access to healthcare, school and university education. 60% of women in the Kingdom of Bahrain have university degrees;
- 47% of women of Bahrain do business, 3% work in government;
- women of Bahrain are professionally supported and advised; they can also turn for powerful legal assistance.
The Sustainable Development Goal №5 is at the heart of the Council of Women of Kingdom of Bahrain. Shaikha Deena Rashed Mohmmed Alkhalifa said: “We should be equal in both political and socioeconomic spheres. Gender equality is very important, as it is included in the national policy of Bahrain”. She also spoke on the national model designed in 2009, which helps women acquire opportunities equal to men’s ones. Members of the Council estimate economic performance, investment revenue, and conduct research in the model’s framework. According to the members, the national model increased women’s inclusion in the government sector by 22% and by 31% in the corporate sector.
At the end of her speech, Shaikha Deena Rashed Mohmmed Alkhalifa mentioned once again that women living in Bahrain are very active in the framework of country’s labour market. The audience applauded the organisation’s success twice.
Marina Kachkalova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Boykov