WASHINGTON, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kingdom of Bahrain is proud to stand beside both Bahraini women and the women of the world today to celebrate International Women's Day.
Bahraini women have been central to efforts by the Kingdom in creating a more inclusive and united society. In the Gulf region, Bahraini women were the first to receive an education enabling them to participate in all aspects of society. Their political history is also tantamount to the country's success; voting first in the region, and before many parts of the world, in 1924 – only four years after the United States. Since then, women have joined the ranks as the first ministers and judges in the Gulf. Women in Bahrain are prominent on the international political stage; in 2006, a Bahraini woman was appointed as President of the United Nations General Assembly, and was the third woman to ever hold that title.
In terms of gender equality, in 2013 the UN Development Program placed Bahrain in a high category on the organization's Gender Equality Index. Women are also a central pillar to the country representing 35% of the workforce, contributing ideas and innovations that have pushed the country's capabilities forward.
Bahrain's government has promoted several programs and initiatives aimed at encouraging greater workforce participation and entrepreneurship among women. The Women Entrepreneurs Support Program has supported 15,000 women at this point in time, including a $2.6 million portfolio for pioneering microfinance projects.
The establishment of the Supreme Council for Women, under the auspices of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, is also indicative of Bahrain's commitment to women. The Supreme Council has served as a means to boost the status of Bahraini women by providing resources for empowerment across several sectors.
On this International Women's Day, the Kingdom is honored to recognize Bahraini women for their many accomplishments and achievements. Bahrain also steps up to renew its commitment to continually improving the status of women, recognizing the fundamental notion that when Bahraini women thrive, the country thrives along with them.
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SOURCE Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Washington, DC