Programme Analyst at UNDP Kuwait is Gender Net Community Member of the Month of May
KUWAIT, May 2014 – Head of Gender and Social Development at UNDP Kuwait Ms. Sahar Shawa was selected as Gender Net Community Member of the Month. Shawa’s diligent efforts in the areas of women’s empowerment, women’s rights, and gender equality and mainstreaming have earned her high praise and brought recognition and visibility to the work being done by UNDP Kuwait’s CO. Shawa is only the third female ever to be profiled from the Arab region, and the first in the Gulf.
As part of her efforts in gender and social development, Shawa has accomplished a number of agendas, resulting in high impression outcomes for the improvement and empowerment of the women’s agenda in Kuwait. Her list of accomplishments include the UNDP political empowerment efforts and campaigns, in cooperation with NGOs and national counterparts, which resulted in four women becoming members of Parliament within the first four years of obtaining their right to vote and participate in parliamentary elections.
Shawa also pushed for women’s legal empowerment in a project titled WRACATI, which included a review of all Kuwaiti laws relevant to women, resulting in four legal studies and recommendations. The Women’s Economic Empowerment Project, another of her projects which was implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, resulted in the establishment of the first women’s business incubator in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf as a whole.
Shawa participated in the recently released “A Statement of Kuwaiti Women,” which represents the voices of female leaders and their male supporters in Kuwait – once again the first of its kind in Kuwait and the Gulf region. Says Shawa of the Statement, “It is a declaration or policy recommendation that came out of roundtable discussions, showing the demands of Kuwaiti women. A media advisory was produced and the statement was announced in all Kuwaiti newspapers.”
She continued, “We will be using the statement as a lobbying tool for future work on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment in Kuwait. We look forward to implementing the declaration with all counterparts in Kuwait, as it represents all Kuwaiti women’s needs, and is a roadmap to reach equality and women’s empowerment through the work of all UN agencies, the government, NGOs and all institutions concerned with women’s issues.”
Shawa began her professional career as an Instructor at Kuwait University, followed by positions such as Business Manager, Database Developer, Community Expert, and finally Programme Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme, which she joined in 2002. In 2005, she established the Gender Programme at UNDP Kuwait.