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Foreign Minister announces launch of Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women Empowerment

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, officially announced today at the United Nations headquarters in New York the launch of the Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women Empowerment.

Participation in the award’s first session will be open during this year, in recognition of achievements by establishments in the public and private sectors, or individuals, to support the developmental role of women as well as ensure the highest degrees of economic participation and social stability.

This came during the address of the Kingdom of Bahrain presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women, at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The minister stated that the Kingdom of Bahrain, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the support of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, affirms its support to the UN’s efforst to safeguard international security and peace. This is in addition to backing national efforts to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development of countries, as well as to enable all to fulfill their international obligations, and implement development action agendas, for a more stable, secure and prosperous world.

He expressed looking forward to supporting the activities of the Commission on the Status of Women aimed at achieving a balance between equality and the empowerment of women and girls in line with the membership of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the commission for the next four years as well as the Executive Office of the United Nations for the coming two years.

The Minister stressed that the continuation of sincere intentions and hard work is the best way to combat the forces of extremism and terrorism, who are fighting common human sense of tolerance and coexistence, which must require the preservation of freedoms and rights in order to establish rules of justice and equal opportunities for all.

He added that this is pursued by the Kingdom of Bahrain in all seriousness, which provided a solid ground for the growing participation of Bahraini women in all fields, where their contributions have been witnessed for nearly 100 years, especially in the fields of education, medicine, nursing, trade and political participation, which began to take shape with establishment of the first municipal council in the twenties of the last century.

The Minister praised the role of the Supreme Council for Women as a national mechanism specializing in women's affairs based on this heritage and cultural wealth, to reach, 15 years after its establishment under the leadership of the First Lady of Bahrain, advanced stages of giving and participation.

Shaikh Khalid highlighted a number of the visualizations under the practical reality in the Kingdom of Bahrain as part of the institutional system to follow up on the progress of women and in the community context to guarantee fair participation and equal opportunities.

He added that social justice between men and women is a fundamental basis for achieving comprehensive development in its various aspects. This is only achieved through a real integration of women, based on the principles of equal opportunities responsive to the needs of men and women alike, and through vigilant and attentive development policies, aware of any gaps that lead to wasting half of the human resources and energies in any community.

The Minister noted that the presence of the political will that believes in women's potential and the importance of investing in their capabilities is fundamental to the success of the march of progress of women and a reason to overcome the most important challenges surrounding the sustainability of their progress.

This is in addition to the community that embraces the role of women and support more initiatives complementary to the role that is being handled by the political decision, namely that there is a consensus and convergence between the two wills to maximize the achievements of women.

He stressed that issue of the empowerment of women and the society as a whole cannot be separated, where experience has shown that the community collectively embracing women's issues in order to provide fair opportunities and diversify options will allow for women the opportunity to control the reins of their lives, as well as ensure investment returns in women's capabilities, to achieve in the end able and empowered women.

The Minister called for the national mechanisms concerned work to follow up on the progress of women and constantly reconsider the nature of the role of women and their relations with their partners in society. This is to achieve the balance between the desired role in the care, protection, and solving problems that women face in their daily lives, and their role as a component basis in the process of development and the renaissance of nations, for those nations and communities to be able to carry out their duties to the fullest. Shaikh Khalid expressed the thanks and appreciation of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the commission for passing the issue on the economic empowerment of women and adopting the Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women Empowerment.

He added that this initiative started nationally 10 years ago to encourage state institutions to establish policies based on finding a balance between the workers of both genders, reduce any gaps hindering women's participation and the speed of progress, provide an environment supportive of women maintaining their achievements in the labour market and to become a contributing factor in increasing competitiveness and productivity.

The Minister affirmed that Bahraini women were able to Bahraini women were able to make up 55 per cent in supervisory positions, a presence of a total of 53 per cent in the government sector and a presence of women in the private sector reaching about 33%, while the percentage of businesswomen in Bahrain is nearly 40%.

This is thanks to the keenness of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the participation of women in the national economic development by establishing the necessary policies and plans as well as sources of funding, provide investment and fields of trains, establish business incubators, set up equal opportunities committees and implement budgets responsive to the needs of women and men.

In conclusion, Shaikh Khalid expressed the pride of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the UN’s efforts, represented by the Commission on the Status of Women, to follow up the progress of women everywhere, for a safer, secure and stable world.

He thanked the Commission on the Status of Women for this annual opportunity for the exchange of views, experiences and expertise to create a future that can sustain success and brighter future for future generations.

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