Manama : Wife of the King of Bahrain and President of the Supreme Council for Women HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa appointed Dr. Mariam Bint Hassan Al Khalifa as deputy head of the Council for the opening of the International Conference “Women and Society,” which began on the campus of the Royal University for Women yesterday.
Addressing the two-day conference, Ms. Hala Al Ansari, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Women, said the Kingdom of Bahrain has the right to be proud of what it has achieved in women’s empowerment today. She stressed that Bahraini women have succeeded in gaining access to many positions, as secretaries, judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, heads of the board of directors and presidents of executive financial institutions et al.
Al Ansari pointed out that history had shown Bahraini women’s access to opportunities and the will to achieve prosperity and progress in a supportive community. “This is represented in the founding of the first school for formal education for girls in 1928, and in their participation in municipal elections in the thirties of the last century, their entry in nursing in 1941, as well as their active participation in civil society in the early 1950’s,” she elaborated.
According to Al Ansari, the establishment of the Supreme Council for Women was based on the conviction and desire of the community to achieve full partnership with women and to meet their needs and aspirations. “Since its inception, the Council has achieved many legislative accomplishments such as the family provisions law, the protection from domestic violence law, the amendment of the labour law in the private sector to take into account the working women’s needs, along with a number of strategic initiatives.”
President of the Royal University for Women Professor Mazin Juma said that the conference is a scientific platform to open up new prospects for valuable research in the Kingdom of Bahrain. “It provides an opportunity for researchers from various countries to discuss women’s issues as well.”
At the opening session, Joyce McConnell, Vice President of West Virginia University, US presented a research entitled “Women and Parliament,” on the reality of the parliamentary woman in the United States.
Mrs. Hala Ramzi Fayez, member of the Shura Council and head of women and children’s rights in the Council, gave a speech on the reality of the parliamentary woman in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Gulf States and a number of countries.
Dr. Mariam also opened an “Art and design” exhibition, being held on the sidelines of the conference. More than 150 people from several Arab and foreign countries attend the conference.