Bahraini women worthy partner in development and public life

Manama, “I read. I learnt. I participated.”, the motto of the Bahraini Women’s Day, has become synonymous with the role of women in Bahrain.

Every year, the national celebrations of the month of December are kickstarted by celebrating Bahraini women. His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had noted that both the National Day and Bahraini Women’s Day are two landmark national occasions.

December 1 was designated to mark Bahraini Women’s Day in 2008 at the initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of HM the King and Supreme Council for Women (SCW) President, in recognition of the valuable contributions of women to their country, their society and their families.

Over the past 15 years since this day was announced, Bahraini women have come far with their achievements in all disciplines, demonstrating that they are a worthy partner in the comprehensive development process.

HM the King has been a keen advocate of the empowerment of women, and that has been reflected in the efforts and programmes of the government led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, in this regard.

The SCW has dedicated every single Bahraini Women’s Day to focus on a variety of themes that bring the achievements of women of the kingdom into the spotlight. The theme this year is “National Development and Public life”, which covers related disciplines such as women working in the public and private sectors, education and the quality of life.

In line with this theme, Women Health Summit will be held next week on December 4-5 under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka, emphasising that women’s health support their empowerment in an effective manner. It also highlights the third and fifth Sustainable Development Goals on good health and well being, and gender equality; the leadership roles of women in healthcare, impact of labour laws on their participation in this area; the readiness of the healthcare system for addressing domestic violence; women’s cardiac health; cancers that women are more susceptible to and other topics related to the health and empowerment of women.

According to recent indicators released by the SCW on quality of life, the percentage of Bahraini women experiencing domestic violence has dropped to 0.34% in 2022. This reflects the stability of Bahraini families and the increase of awareness, enhanced by education, on the role and status of women in families and the society.

The statistics also showed that the life expectancy of Bahraini women has gone up to 82 years. It was 78 years in 2001.

Maternal mortality has also seen a significant drop from 22 cases (per 100,000 live births) in 2001 to 16.9 in 2022.

Bahraini women are 43% of the national working force, according to SCW figures for 2022. Women were only 26% of the working force in 2001.

The numbers of women in the public sector have increase to 56% in the public sector. They occupy 48% of senior executive roles and 64% of specialised professions in the public sector.

The representation of Bahraini women has grown by three folds over the last 20 years, going up from 8% in 2002 to 23% in the 2022 elections

Women members are 25% of the Shura Council and 20% of the Council of Representatives. Women did not have any representation in the 2002 Council of Representatives. Their representation has also grown from none in 2002 to 18% at present in municipal councils.

Women ministers are 22% of the current cabinet, increasing by four folds from 2001.

According to statistics released by SCW in the second quarter of 2023, 37% of Bahraini diplomats are women.

Today, 11% of judges in Bahrain are women.

Bahraini women’s participation in economic and commercial activity has increased from 21% in 2001 to 35% in the second quarter of 2023. The number of Bahraini women owning active commercial registrations has reached 45% by the end of June 2023, while owners of virtual commercial registrations have reached 53% in the same period. Those figures have been achieved through the facilities offered by the government in cooperation with the SCW, the private sector and the Labour Fund (Tamkeen).

Source: Bahrain News Agency