A group of Kuwaiti women including government officials, members of the private sector, civil society representatives and entrepreneurs joined a workshop on political campaign management and leadership skills held within the framework of the 8th Annual Conference on Women and Leadership convened by the Kuwait University Women’s Research and Studies Centre (WRSC) between October 22 -25 in Kuwait City.
The training included practical exercises and learning on community organizing practices and election campaigning. The participants were exposed to five campaign principles: crafting a public narrative, setting strategy, building leadership teams, investing in relationships and designing motivational action. In addition, they were provided with practical skills to develop their election message, target voters and build a voter contact plan.
The workshop is part of a two-year project to accelerate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Kuwait, implemented by the WRSC at Kuwait University in partnership with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, UNDP Kuwait and the UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States.
“Kuwaiti women need to play a bigger role in shaping their country's future. Women make up fifty per cent of the population, but the current numbers of women in the National Assembly and in municipal councils is well below gender parity. With support such as this training, it is hoped that more Kuwaiti women will decide to pursue the option of standing for election and that they will be more likely to succeed when they do so,” Nisreen Haj Ahmad, Director of Ahel and expert in community mobilization, who facilitated the training.
One of the participants in the workshop, Eman Al-Awadhi, Group Communications Director at private sector company KIPCO said “I think leadership is important whether in politics or in career. The focus on women -and having women in the room- highlights more strongly the common issues that we need to work on together. It also allows for an open platform where women can exchange their challenges and learn from each other. It also means that we get a chance to network. A lot of women in this room have great potential. They come from very diverse backgrounds and getting to know them can actually help us to work together towards a common goal”.
“Everyone who wants to be a leader or run for office, should be trained, especially women. This training is very important because it has provided us with many skills whether we want to be in politics or just embrace leadership in any aspect of our lives,” said Asrar Hayat, Kuwaiti entrepreneur.
“This training has taught me about strategic planning and provided me with useful information about the role of women in politics and how the election processes work. It has been a very valuable experience and it has enriched my perspective with regards to women’s empowerment in Kuwait,” said Zahra Suliman AlMosawi, General Manager at a public relations firm.
The 8th Annual Conference on Women and Leadership highlighted the role of WRSC as a hub for collaboration, partnerships and knowledge-building on women leadership and empowerment in the public and political spheres, through the introduction of practical concepts, terminologies and effective networking strategies.
Source: UN Women.