Bahrain launches key award for women
Manama, March 12, 2013
A prestigious award to empower Bahraini women has been rolled out across the region, said a top official.
The Shaikha Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa's Award for Empowering Bahraini Women is a first of its kind initiative in the Gulf and Arab world, said Supreme Council for Women (SCW) deputy secretary-general Thaweya Al Alawi.
She was speaking at a Press conference yesterday at the council's headquarters in Riffa to announce the opening of registration for the award.
"We are proud to have this award, which is marking its fourth session, be a pioneering initiative on a GCC and Arab level," she told our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
"We aspire to have this award move outside Bahrain's border and maybe even cover the GCC."
The award, which was launched in 2004, aims to implement and increase the presence of women in decision making positions whether in private or government sectors.
It also seeks to monitor the process of empowering women and giving them equal opportunities to men in the work force, as well as possibly discovering emerging issues that need to be addressed, stressed SCW secretary-general Dr Hala Al Ansari.
"The award was launched to implement women's presence in the work force," she said.
"One of its missions is to be a monitoring tool to the development in empowering women in the work force."
Dr Al Ansari revealed that a new specification was added to the already existing eight, which aims to ensure the incorporation of women's needs and implement equal opportunities in terms of training, promotions and sponsorships.
"The added specification also seeks to push institutes to have a dedicated unit to ensure equality of opportunities," she said. "It specifically looks into incorporating women's needs in the budget allocations of companies."
She said the council works towards supporting Bahraini women and providing them with consultations, but not "spoon-feed" them opportunities. "Bahraini women work hard to prove themselves," she added.
"Our work at the council is to monitor their development and seek to support it and give consultation for things that could assist their journey, not to be a spoon feeder."
Meanwhile, SCW award committee member Afnan Al Zayani said Bahraini women chair 13 per cent of decision making positions in the government sector and 6pc in the private sector.
"We could attribute this to the award as well as the country's leadership which sought to empower women in every aspect," Al Zayani said. "The award has become a motivation for companies in seeking to be in line with the specifications to empower women."
The deadline for nominations from both government and private sector organisations will end on September 11. Winners will be announced at the end of the year, following a three-month evaluation process. – TradeArabia News Service
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