A RESIDENT office of the UN Women programme has been launched in Bahrain.
It is located at the UN House in Hoora and will help the country contribute towards eradicating violence against women globally.
It was officially opened yesterday by UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Supreme Council for Women (SCW) secretary general Dr Hala Al Ansari.
The opening was attended by UN Women regional director Mohammed Naciri, UN resident representative Amin Al Sharkhawi and Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Shaikha Rana bint Mohammed Al Khalifa.
“Violence against women is a complex issue which calls for complex solutions,” Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka told the GDN.
“Every nation has to look within and find solutions while we have to unite and contribute towards global solutions as well.
“Bahrain is excelling in its achievements for women and in terms of violence against women, and the UN Women resident programme in Manama will help Bahrain contribute to this UN vision.”
She added that the office would also support Bahrain in its progress on women empowerment.
“The office will support the very ambitious programme of the Bahraini government of empowering women as well as the UN Women’s target of economic empowerment of women,” she said.
“Together we will focus on mainstreaming gender equality with a focal point in every ministry, on gender responsive budgeting and ending violence against women.
“We are also here at the time of the global campaign – 16 days of activism (against gender based violence) where every country is recognising the challenge of violence against women.
“Bahrain was chosen as one of the countries where we decided to visit and discuss with partners to work further.
“Bahrain is looking for collaboration on how to use statistics to track violence against women so that we can know where it occurs, why and how it happens and what we can do to stop it.
“Bahrainis themselves have achieved progress with women in terms of education and placements in jobs.
“We are here to support this momentum and to see more progress.”
Meanwhile, Dr Al Ansari described the office as a “dream come true”.
“This is a milestone for Bahrain and a dream come true for us, which comes at a time when we have the Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa’s Global Award for Women Empowerment adopted as model by the UN,” she said.
“We are also at a proud moment where Bahrain has secured key membership positions in the UN.
“This is also the time when Manama has been selected as the Capital of Arab Women for this year alongside Bahraini Women’s Day – it’s a joyous occasion.
“Actually, the UN Women office in Bahrain will have a higher impact on empowering women in Bahrain.
“Liaising with the UN in these matters will be an eye opener for many issues rather than only violence against women, as we are talking of empowering women economically and their participation in economy and politics.
“We will be able to exchange information and knowledge and we will also have access to their best practices.”
The Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa’s Global Award for Women Empowerment was launched at the UN headquarters in March, following 10 years of successful application at the national level.