Kawthar Al-Joaan: The participation of women in ministerial positions is not a grant or a blessing
– Salwa Al-Jassar: The slogans of “a rescue government… technocrats… achievement” are fake and have a high political cost
Sheikha Al-Jassem: The history of women ministers in Kuwait is very modest
– Nabila Al Mulla: A quota for female ministers, as is the case in other countries
Eleven female ministers have risen in the skies of Kuwaiti political life, the first of whom was Dr. Masooma Al-Mubarak in 2005 when she held the portfolio of planning and administrative development.
And during 16 years, the open file has not yet been closed, so will the sun of ministering women in the prospective government shine, fade and disappear, or take a third path between strong presence and complete absence to hide, to satisfy supporters and opponents alike?
Noun, the Kuwaiti women, spoke to Al-Rai to draw a road map through their answers to the following:
Why should women minister?
– What did the former ministers add?
– What do women have in the new government?
– What can a government lose without women?
The female activists unanimously agreed that “women’s participation in the next government should be a complementary decoration,” while some of them went to demand that at least four women be appointed as ministers.
Kawthar the hungry
“There is consensus on the importance of empowering Kuwaiti women over the past few decades, and they have already been able to achieve great gains on the social level, but the weak political representation is still a source of concern for us,” said Kawthar Abdullah Al-Joaan, head of the Women’s Institute for Development and Peace.
In her interview with Al-Rai, she added, “Always in every new ministerial formation, we hope that things will move towards promoting the effective integration of Kuwaiti women into the political process and in leadership positions, and that the societal view of women will change in a manner that guarantees the principle of equality in various business sectors.”
She stressed that “Kuwaiti law is fair to women, but the problem is in the view of some in a society that does not sufficiently believe in women, especially in political matters. With a quick look at what happened in the recent elections, we find that no woman won a seat in parliament despite the large number of female candidates, and I say frankly that there is a lack of women’s faith in women.”
She added, “What worries us is the continued weak political representation of women after more than 15 years of their entry into this fray, which is a worrying indicator. So that women do not turn into a seasonal phenomenon that quickly appears and quickly disappears,” she explained, explaining that “the importance of women ministering in the prospective government comes from the state’s interest in the human being. Human development is not the development of a man, nor the development of concrete, nor the development of oil.”
She stated that “human development depends on men and women, and therefore the Gulf countries race, due to the similarity of customs, traditions, societies and visions (2030-2035) to emphasize the primary role of women in development,” stressing that “women’s participation in ministerial positions is not a grant or a favor to be given.” It is a constitutional right that must be applied, especially after Kuwaiti women have obtained all their political rights, including those that qualify them to enter the highest positions in all governmental, parliamentary or private bodies.”
She stressed that “it is necessary to move away from satisfaction and quotas, and that the selection be based on competence, ability to achieve, experience in performance, management of government work, and achievement of financial and administrative reform plans,” noting that “Kuwait has many qualified women if we want to achieve unprecedented achievements and change.” The situation is for the better, because the scene is now set for calm and governmental-parliamentary cooperation. The situation cannot tolerate further failures, and this applies to men as well, in that competence is the criterion.
And the selection is among those who are able to achieve, and scrutiny of CVs to avoid mistakes that occurred in the past, who had question marks.”
She explained that “the process of rotating or assigning other portfolios constitutes a burden and a distraction, and we look forward to a government capable of changing for the better, effective and accomplished without political, tribal and family balances,” adding that “Kuwaiti women enjoy high competence and have entered all fields, including the judiciary, defense and fire services to In addition to other fields, however, unfortunately, distinguished women with a renewed thought, high culture and competence are excluded from ministerial positions for several reasons, perhaps the most important of which is their outperformance over many ministers, especially with regard to preserving public money.
And she indicated that “if previous experiences in women ministering were unsatisfactory, we hope that their presence will be based on clear and bold foundations, and the experience of 11 women ministers in the history of Kuwait since the official launch of women’s political life began to heat up in most of their stations between economic, development and educational ministries, in a scene that reflected confidence. Successive governments regard Kuwaiti women, and this is what we demand now, so that she, along with the man, assume the helm of ambition towards the development of the country and its economy, and the upbringing and education of its generations.”
In response to those who criticize women ministers, she said: “Whoever thinks that women are weak and hesitant is weak, and the most likely woman minister is to be targeted by threats of interrogation. Success here is relative as it is clear for men as well, and this is due to many considerations, some of which we mentioned above, in addition to the weak roles Public benefit associations, especially women’s associations, which only demanded political rights and closed their doors after that!”
She pointed out that “the criterion for selecting a woman was based on passing higher qualifications and career progression experience in positions, while the criteria for selecting a minister are different and do not take into account these considerations. It is complementary to the government formation, but rather its existence stems from the belief in its functional capabilities and the woman’s self-confidence first and foremost.”
Dr. Salwa Abdullah Al-Jassar, a former member of the National Assembly, associate professor at the College of Education, Kuwait University, said that “women’s participation in all fields is a vital issue, not a luxury,” noting that “such participation is necessary in order to provide opportunities for Kuwaiti women to be side by side with The man is in the decision-making positions.
She stressed, “the importance of allowing women to enter the government formation in the same way as men, with the aim of achieving social diversity and not being satisfied with a single or dual number.”
And she continued, “We affirm the demand to choose at least four women in the new government from among the elements who are known for their competence and professional and leadership experience, and we refuse to continue to succumb to the interventions in imposing names to enter the cabinet formation who do not have previous experience, whether at the administrative or leadership level, and we also demand It is necessary to take into account the selection of names from men.
In her answers to what women have provided in the ministerial experience, she replied, “Here we ask a question, what has the man added over the years?… Linking the concept of achievement to women is rejected, today the methods of quotas and satisfaction in choosing the government and raising the slogans of a rescue government… a government of technocrats… A government of achievement…Unfortunately, fake slogans have become a dangerous burden, with a high political cost.
She stressed that “what the next stage requires is the selection of qualified and patriotic men and women who are loyal and have independent thinking and orientation.”
On the most important obstacles and problems facing Kuwaiti women in decision-making, she said that they are “represented in the social, economic and cultural conditions of women in society, which unfortunately did not do justice to them.” That there are some of them who do not have the competence and skill at the level of leadership and management to achieve achievements to be added to institutions, and the view of society still constitutes the biggest challenge facing women’s successes.”
She considered that “the society’s view is unfair in supporting women, and the patriarchal view still dominates the societal thought that rejects the presence of women in decision-making positions, although international studies and reports confirm that women in decision-making positions at the government level have achieved achievement and credibility in applying laws and fighting corruption.”
Sheikha Al Jassim
Professor of Philosophy at Kuwait University Dr. Sheikha Al-Jassem told Al-Rai that “the Kuwaiti constitution equates citizens with rights and duties and does not differentiate between them based on gender,” pointing out that “nomination for senior positions should be available to qualified men of both sexes and to young people as well.”
Al-Jassem stressed that “the ministerial process must end in the manner of tribal and sectarian quotas,” pointing out that “as for the agreements signed by Kuwait regarding women’s rights, the neighboring countries preceded us in implementing this.”
Al-Jassem considered that “the history of women ministers in Kuwait is very modest, not to mention the fierce political war from the forces hostile to it,” pointing out that “Kuwait has women administrators, engineers and other specializations that qualify them to lead various ministries.”
And she continued, “With regard to previous experiences, women ministers performed their duties no less efficiently than men and even better than some ministers. As for the obstacles that women may face if they are minister, they are entering into the political war with its various polarizations, in addition to the permanent hostility of those who hate the entry of women into the political field.” ».
Nabila Al Mulla
Head of the Women’s Cultural Association in Kuwait Lulwa Al-Mulla stressed that “it is very important for women to be ministers in the prospective government because international reports indicate the low level of women’s participation in the state administration in all sectors,” noting that “this indicator is not good for Kuwait’s reputation, as it is supposed to be There is equality and not, as is the case now, with this low percentage, which is not in favor of Kuwait.”
Al-Mulla told “Al-Rai” that “a woman can add a lot, and this has been proven by days and positions. If a woman wants to work, she will make efforts to excel and here the importance of her presence in the government becomes possible,” pointing out that “women who occupied leadership positions, whether ministers or Ambassadors or in the National Assembly, their performance was honorable and wonderful, and women often outperform those in the same position.”
On the obstacles that could stand in the way of women in the event that they are appointed as ministers, she replied, “There are no obstacles, and all that is in the matter is that we need a decisive and immediate decision and to stay away from quotas,” expressing her hope that “there will be a quota for selecting a group of Kuwaiti women ministers, as is the case. in other countries.”
She concluded by saying, “Even in ministering women, we are not looking to minister to women or men, but rather to ministering competencies, expertise and the right person in the right place, not according to quotas and interests.”
From 2005 to 2021, successive governments have had 11 women ministers, the first of whom is Dr. Masooma Al Mubarak, and the last of whom is Dr. Rana Al-Faris.
1 – Masoumeh Al-Mubarak: The first ministerial portfolio held by women was the portfolio of planning and administrative development, with Al-Mubarak, who later took over “Transportation” and then “Health”, and was the first minister to resign from her position.
2 – Nouria Al-Sabeeh: She assumed the portfolios of “Education” and “Higher Education”, and she was the first minister to face an interrogation and ended with a renewal of confidence in her.
3- Moudhi Al-Hamoud: She took over the Ministry of Planning and Development, then “Education” and “Higher Education”.
4 – Amani Bouresli: She took over the “Commerce” portfolio, then “Planning”.
5- Rola Dashti: She held the “Planning and Development” portfolio and the “National Assembly Affairs” portfolio, and was the first female minister to face two interrogations.
6- Zikra Al-Rashidi: She was the first “analyst” in the government, as she was a deputy and was appointed as a minister, as she assumed the “Social Affairs and Labor” portfolio.
7- Hind Al-Sabeeh: The most long-serving female minister in her position, as her term exceeded four years. She was the minister who faced the most interrogations and requests for confidence, and she overcame them, as she submitted 4 interrogations while she was in charge of the “Affairs” and “Economic Affairs” portfolios.
8 – Jinan Ramadan: She took over the portfolios of “Housing”, “Works” and “Services”.
9 – Maryam Al-Aqeel: She took over the portfolio of “Economic Affairs”.
10 – Ghadeer Asiri: She held the position of Minister of Social Affairs in 2019. The period of her stay in her ministerial position is 43 days less compared to her counterparts.
11 – Rana Al-Fares: She assumed the portfolio of Public Works and the Ministry of State for Communications and Information Technology.