Addressing the assembled world leaders at the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York, the Amir of Kuwait, HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, pledged Kuwait’s commitment to implementation of Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which include the elimination of all forms of gender discrimination. The country’s own national development plan for 2015-2020 also established goals and targets that will support the nation towards the same.
The project for the implementation of SDG5 is part of the efforts to set in motion longer-term transformation changes in women’s empowerment in Kuwait. This is achieved through a strategic collaboration framework between UNDP and General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD), as well as the UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States, who have partnered together to support a two-year project with the Women and Research Studies Centre (WRSC) at Kuwait University (KU).
The project capitalizes on previous work carried out by UNDP during 2009-2012, as well as work currently being carried out by UN Women in the rest of the Arab world, and focuses on three key areas:
1. Enhancement of women’s participation in political and public life
2. Enhancement of women’s participation in all sectors through increased awareness; and application of gender-positive policies to promote women’s participation
3. Making data available to support elaboration of a comprehensive national plan to address violence against women.
So far, UNDP has achieved 37% of projected results, including beginning two research studies, implementing training courses for the empowerment of Kuwaiti women, and completing desk reviews for laws and services. UNDP has also supported the establishment of the first political incubator in the region for the empowerment of women. The incubator is in the process of preparing 60 Kuwaiti women for leadership roles in both the public and the private sector.