One of the first countries in the GCC, Kuwait recently embraced Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs),a global platform to mobilize business action towards women’s empowerment and economic growth. WEPs are an integrated framework developed by UN Women and UN Global Compact in 2010 and offer 7 steps to guide businesses on how to promote gender equality and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Led by the Women’s Research and Studies Center and in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development,Kuwait University under the auspices of the joint UNDP and UN Women project supporting the State of Kuwait in achieving SDG5, a capacity building workshop on Women’s Empowerment Principles was organized at the College of Social Sciences, Kuwait University. The Workshop was held from 2-4 of October 2018. The three day training workshop aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge of selected Kuwait private sector companies on how to adopt the 7 principles within the framework of their business operations. More broadly, the workshop aimed at mobilizing the Kuwaiti private sector to promote, support, and advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, in line with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Kuwait Vision 2035.
The workshop was organized by the Women Research and Studies Center, Kuwait University, in collaboration with UNDP Kuwait and UN Women Regional Office for Arab States.
The UN Women WEPs Specialist delivered the three-day capacity building workshop that brought together 25 employees from 10 renowned companies of various industries, namely EQUATE, Al Hamra Real Estate Co., Alghanim Industries, Burgan Bank, National Bank of Kuwait, PACE, Gulf Insurance Company, Zain Group and KIPCO. The participants were equipped with practical knowledge, resources and tools to facilitate implementation of WEPs and were exposed to best practices from around the world. Peer learning was encouraged with participants invited to share their experience, obstacles they face and practices they utilize in their companies to ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women.
This training marks the beginning of a broader cooperation with the private sector companies in Kuwait to jointly promote gender equality and women’s empowerment for sustainable growth. The training participants committed to make efforts and translate the knowledge gained into developing gender responsive policies and practices in the companies they work in. Ensuring gender equality is not only the right thing to do - it makes business sense.
Abrar Al Habeeb, Chief Administrative Officer, Al Hamra Real Estate Co.
‘Since Kuwait’s independence, our leaders have given voice to all women, who represent a key pillar in our country’s transformation. Now it is time that we become more confident in our own abilities and support other women to be a part of our country’s future. Training workshops such as this one are a fantastic opportunity to network with other successful businesswomen and empower one another through inspiring success stories from around the world.’
Ghalya Al Roumi, Zain Group Women Ambassador, Zain Group
‘Women around the globe possess the collective power to change their lives, their communities and the world we live in. I am part of the Women Empowerment Principles Training because I know that investing in women’s leadership and empowerment is essential to social change now and for the future.”
Noora Amin, Assistant Manager, Talent Solutions AND Tamara Zantout, Senior HR Officer, Alghanim Industries
"It's refreshing to see leading private companies come together to share best practices and learn from one another. The WEPs Training is a testament to Kuwait's commitment to raise awareness on Women Empowerment, in addition to holding companies accountable, set measurable action-plans and aim for successful results. It's time we walk the talk, and embed the Women's Empowerment Principles as part of our culture rather than promote it as yet another initiative."
Rawan AlAwadhi, Architectural Inspector, PACE
“I am positive that the enthusiasm and optimism shown by the wonderful people of UNDP will inspire change and reshape societies into communities of equal opportunity.”
Loulwa Abdulla Al-Ayoubi, Acting Group Head of Investor and Corporate Relations, Burgan Bank
"Enabling both genders to fulfil their potential is crucial to the advancement of societies and economies. We have to work hard to eliminate gender gaps for the sake of building a more sustainable future and providing equal opportunities of advancement for women. It is a responsibility I personally take seriously because I know, given the right environment, how much women can excel. I thank the organizers for the immense UN support for bridging present gaps through such platforms that will help us adapt a culture supportive of gender equality and human rights"
Zeinab Abbass, Deputy Manager, Human Resources & Training Department, Gulf Insurance
‘We cannot succeed when half of the society is held back, Empower women for a brighter tomorrow.’
Hagar Amr, Recruitment Officer, Human Resources & Training Department
‘We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”