Promoting Legal Empowerment of Women in the State of Kuwait (WRACATI)
What is this project about ?
The project aims to promote the advancement of women through legal empowerment. Building on the experience and insights gained during the implementation of the WRACTI initiative (Women’s and Children’s Rights through Access to Information), the project aims to facilitate and provide access to relevant laws and regulations for women and to raise awareness of women’s legal rights among women and key partners as well as the general public. Project activities include the development of relevant legal information in digital format and its dissemination through CDs, website, video and audio radio messages, booklets and telephone hotlines as well as through other means. The project also aims to strengthen women’s support mechanisms in order to reinforce their capacity to better access legal information through ICT and to use this information effectively in directing and counselling women. This will be achieved through the training of key stakeholders, in particular representatives from civil society organizations, legal professionals, journalists and MPs in the use of the legal information. A media campaign will ensure that awareness of women’s legal rights among women, key partners and the general public is enhanced.
- Access to legal information for women is facilitated.
- Capacity of key partners and stakeholders to provide and facilitate access to legal information for women enhanced.
- Knowledge and awareness of women’s rights among major groups enhanced through national outreach.
- Media campaign implemented to raise awareness of women’s legal rights among the general public in Kuwait.
What have we accomplished so far?
- Project Launch event was attended by 100 participants from a wide range of project stakeholders, CSO, the parliament, lawyers, investigators, ex-ministers and UN agencies as well as the media. The objectives of the event were to inform the stakeholders, the media and the public on the project highlights in order to impact the advancement of women’s rights in the country, engage women’s rights groups, support mechanisms and key influential persons to ensure the national buy-in and to encourage their meaningful participation throughout the project life time. The event was in March 2012, to utilize the IWD and flag women’s legal empowerment as strategic area of concern and action for women’s advancement and wellbeing in the Kuwaiti socioeconomic, political and cultural context.
- The project reviewed laws and judicial practices that affect women's rights and hinder their full participation in the public life in Kuwait. Human right-based approach has been utilized to collect and analyze the relevant laws as well as international standards and Kuwait international obligations. The strategic view is to introduce the required legal reform that guarantees adequate protection for women. The project recruited four local legal consultants to provide legal studies on the four key thematic areas pertaining to women’s rights in Kuwait, which are: Women and Citizenship Rights and Political Participation, Women in Family and Marriage, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Protection from Violence against Women. Key Outputs were the Law Review study that combined the four sub-studies with the material posted on the website and publicized as booklets and being formulated as training material for future project capacity building activities.
- Simplification of the legal provisions through the FAQs, case studies and courts decisions were formed on the four thematic areas to provide general knowledge on the legal system and the procedures were complied with detailed explanatory answers.
- A public knowledge and interest survey with 1200 samples was conducted to assess the knowledge of the public and the gaps in the women’s rights laws and legislations and provided a set of recommendations on the areas that need update which will form the base for evidence based advocacy for legal reform and for future the training and capacity development programme.
- An Experts Forum “Women & the Law forum” was held with 20 Prominent legal and human rights experts, university professors, women’s rights advocates, judges and lawyers who are champions and renowned for their support to the women’s empowerment agenda in Kuwait. The forum is a policy advisory body that is mandated to perform as a policy platform to develop key policy recommendations on women’s legal empowerment agenda, act as a knowledge-based forum, and guide and endorse the research framework of the project technical committee.
The project developed a database of legislations and resources which includes:
|Laws & Legislations||
93 Provisions and articles
Case Studies and courts decisions
FAQs, questions with detailed explanatory answers
Institutions involved in the data collection work (ministries, universities, law enforcement bodies and CSOs)
Legal studies, reports, books and legal articles
- Awareness raising and dissemination of legal knowledge products using IT and other conventional means included: 1000 copies of the project brochure, banners, folders and roll-ups, 2000 legal knowledge booklets that include simplified information as FAQs, designated for the women and the general public; 500 tent calendars with strong messages on women’s legal rights and gender equality in the Kuwaiti context; 500 copies of the legal review study in full for the professional groups, the university and the justice sector; and 500 CDs for the CSOs.
- The project implemented a public outreach and media campaign to flag the international day to end violence against women on the 25th November and throughout the 16 days of activism. The campaign delivered a quality press release, advocacy for women’s rights and ending violence against women through media messages, site visits and public speeches; production and distribution of legal knowledge materials to enhance the public awareness on the legal empowerment issues; and public debates which addressed key issues and findings of the law review studies to generate public. Social media was effectively used to spread messages and flag issues.
- WRACATI website established as www.wracati.org which provides legal information and access to legal knowledge and services to women and the public in Kuwait. It includes professional links, legislations, publications and studies to enhance the professional capacities of the legal and professional community in Kuwait. It receives queries through the hot line and the dedicated email. Answers will be posted through the FAQ on the women’s empowerment key pillars: Protection from violence against women; Economic empowerment; political and citizenship right; equality in family and marriage.
- TOT workshop to build National Capacities to Advance Women’s Rights and Legal Empowerment was conducted for 21 participants to prepare a pool of skillful national trainers from the legal profession, the law enforcement bodies, the support mechanisms, the social workers and civil society on the key concepts on the international human/women’s rights and the legal empowerment. A training manual was tailored for national trainers. Media coverage was effectively organized to ensure visibility and to enrich the organizational memory of the project and the partners.