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Activist decries Kuwaiti women’s absence from socio-political scene
May 20, 2015, 5:21 pm

A leading Kuwaiti women rights’ activist decried the ‘laxity and apathy’ among Kuwaiti women who did not capitalize on the full acquisition of their political rights, asking them to reassume the mantle of leadership in acquiring representation in the National Assembly and key positions in the vast government bureaucracy. Kawther Al-Jawa’an, coordinator of the Institute for Women’s Development, noted however the government’s early commitment to granting women their political rights, saying that these rights never conflicted with tenets of Islamic Sharia.

Recognizable faces

Jawa’an made her statements yesterday in a speech during an annual event celebrating the stature and accomplishments of Kuwaiti women. The event took place this year at the National Library under the sponsorship of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah and the attendance of Minister of Amiri Diwan Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Jawa’an railed against the absence of recognizable women’s faces from the nation’s sociopolitical scene, noting that as the power of women has receded in recent times, the women’s empty field has been filled with maledominated civil society organizations that do not harp on women’s issues or aspirations.

Progressive society

She asked that all sectors of society should not ignore the role of women in contributing to society’s development and progress and hoped that women would not accept a back seat to taking an active political part in addressing the nation’s most pressing concerns.

Also speaking at the event was Hanadi Al- Omani, the first sight-challenged female Kuwaiti attorney, who recounted to the audience her struggle in life as a woman and as a disabled person, until she was able with the support of her family and society to overcome difficulties and attain a college degree in law. This year’s event concluded with some musical numbers and the showing of a documentary film on women’s issues and the granting of awards and prizes to this year’s female honorees.

Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah said meanwhile that the event emphasized the partnership of Kuwaiti men and women in developing a progressive society. In a press statement following the conclusion of the event, the minister noted that this year’s female honorees represented a beacon for other women to emulate on the road toward the nation’s progress and advancement. Egypt’s former minister of information Dr Durriya Sharaf Al-Deen, who was a guest of honor at the event, said that “the Kuwaiti woman struggled for years to finally obtain her political rights” which resulted subsequently to getting good positions in the government bureaucracy and becoming a true giver to the nation’s advancement.

However, she said there was still more room for Kuwaiti women to further striving to get ahead in society. The event honored a number of Kuwaiti women for their accomplishments. A roundtable discussion is scheduled for tomorrow to be attended by the former Egyptian minister. It will take place at the location of the National Library, where today’s event was celebrated.

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