UN Coordinator: Bahrain has the second best gender index in the GulfMar 20, 2013
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in the Kingdom of Bahrain commemorated International Women’s Day on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 at 11:00 hrs at the UN House Conference Hall with the cooperation and participation of The Supreme Council for Women, the Shura Council and the National Institution for Human Rights. The function which aimed at reinvigorating commitment to end violence against women was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education, Arabian Gulf University and from various women’s organizations in the Kingdom such as Bahrain Women’s Union, Awal Women’s Society, Bahrain Young Ladies Association to name a few.
During the event, statements were delivered by Mrs Dhawiya Sharaf Al Alawi, Assistant Secretary-General for the Supreme Council for Women, Mr Peter Grohmann, UNDP Resident Representative & UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Jehad Abdullah Mohd Al Fadhel Member of the Shura Council and Ms Latifa Rashid Al Jalahma from the National Institution for Human Rights. In her address, Mrs Al Alawi highlighted the Supreme Council for Women’s initiative to build a comprehensive information system on the status of battered women and girls in Bahrain in collaboration with relevant government bodies and civil organizations. The initiative comes in line with the council's National Strategic Plan on the Advancement of Bahraini Women, which looks to ensure economic and social needs of families and reduce violence against women. Mrs Alawi stated that the objective was to enforce the social bond that exists through knowledge-sharing based on a joint national database.
Mr Grohmann stated that Bahrain has the second best index in the Gulf according to the gender inequality index of the most recent human development report and comes second following UAE but highlighted that challenges remain. He added that Bahrain has provided leadership in empowering girls and women in the region.
In her statement, Dr Jehad Al Fadhel said that women's rights activists have been campaigning to implement laws to protect women from abuse for years adding that discussions were ongoing to pass a new legislation to combat domestic violence. She further highlighted that implementation of the law could limit violence, but awareness in terms of protection from domestic violence is needed to decrease cases.
A song entitled “One Woman” launched by UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality & Women Empowerment, in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day was also be screened. “One Woman” is a musical celebration of women worldwide, featuring 25 artists from 20 countries across the globe. This was followed by a question and answer session with the media.