Moscow, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), Hala Al-Ansari, has highlighted the importance of exerting more international efforts to ensure that the development plans provide equal opportunities for women and men, which will contribute to the sustainability of economic growth and diversity for the sake of stable and prosperous communities.
While delivering the kingdom's statement during the main session of the Second Eurasian Women's Forum in St Petersburg, which was opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Al-Ansari stressed the need for the world to step up its readiness to face the rapid and huge scientific and technological challenges and to maintain what has been achieved through the development of more measures that would allow women and men equal access to resources and opportunities, and ensure that women's contributions remain an important factor in the continuity of their countries' growth, and their communities' stability.
Our societies have achieved a great deal in the field of women's advancement despite the differences and diversity of those achievements from on society to another. We have also been able, to a large extent, to spread the gender balance culture to be a social value that guides the national work map in our countries, she explained.
The SCW secretary-general highlighted the importance of the Forum in renewing interest in issues of top priority regarding women's equal participation in development, affirming Bahrain's support for the Forum's goals of strengthening cooperation among women leaders for the sake of addressing urgent challenges and consolidating the existing atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding to achieve global human values that would preserve rights and protect freedoms in a way that would respect societies' specific features.
She expressed hope that the Forum would come up with a clear vision about the nature of the expected roles in a world that is renewed by sciences and knowledge, and about ways to take advantage of constructive dialogue to invest in achievements and overcome challenges towards more global stability, peace and sustainable equitable development.
Al-Ansari underlined the kingdom's keenness to put forward comprehensive development policies that are consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, as a global roadmap that takes into account women's equal participation, being a firm and influential factor in the sustainability of the required changes towards a better future, noting that the institutional efforts to advance women started 15 years ago by implementing a comprehensive national plan that contributed to moving from the stages of traditional empowerment and rights acquisition to a stage of full rights and equal partnership in development.
The SCW chief highlighted a number of indicators that measure the Bahraini women's advancement, including the completion of legislation and laws that support the stability of women and the family, such as the unified Family Law, the inauguration of many quality services, such as the integrated Family Courts Complex and the National Database to monitor domestic violence cases.
Al-Ansari asserted that Bahrain women's experience in entrepreneurship is among the successful models that are emulated at the international level, citing the adoption of Group of 77 and China at the UN of Bahrain's recommendation to the UN General Assembly to issue a resolution on Women's Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion in March 2018.
The secretary-general affirmed the kingdom's keenness on honouring its international commitments, joining executive agencies and specialised committees and promoting its successful national practices, such as the Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women's Empowerment which was recently adopted by UN Women, after its application for ten years at the national level.
Al-Ansari pointed out that according to a number of international sources, the Kingdom has been able to completely close the gender gap in education enrollment indicators, top the list of countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the areas of economic participation and opportunities, close the pay gender gap for similar jobs, and improve the estimated income index, and the index of legislators, senior officials and managers.
Al-Ansari noted that Bahrain, through the SCW, has recently completed the National Model for Integrating Women's Needs in Development which, she said, is an innovative system to monitor the application of the equal opportunities and balance between men and women, noting that the tools of the system include an all-inclusive national observatory to be a lasting and unified framework to update and measure local, regional and international competitiveness rates, as well as the issuance of a national report to measure the effectiveness of gender balance policies and initiatives and their impact on Bahraini women's advancement.
Themed Women for Global Security and Sustainable Development, the second Eurasian Women's Forum attracted about 2,000 delegates from more than 100 countries over the world.
Participants include women parliamentarians, representatives of the executive, international organisations, commercial communities, business, academia, social and charitable organisations, authorities of the international women's movement, and ambassadors of different countries, among others.
Source: Bahrain News Agency