The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain Marks International Women's Day: "Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality"

Mar 08, 2016, 16:37 ET from Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- FACT SHEET: Over the years, the Kingdom of Bahrain has established itself as global pioneer to protect and enhance the advancement of women in the world. As a leader, it was the first country in the region, and only four years after the United States, to give women the right to vote (1924), to educate women (1928), to become ministers (2004) and judges (2006). In 2013, UNDP Gender Inequality Index placed Bahrain in the "very high human development" category. Below are some of the highlights of the country's efforts in supporting the aspirations of the Arab woman:


  • Only two years after the first public school for boys was established in 1926, the first public primary school for girls was established in 1928
  • In 2010, 58% of Bahraini high school graduates or higher were women
  • Bahrain ranked second in the world for gender ratio of enrollments at tertiary level (World Economic Forum 2013)
  • Percentage of women in higher education reached 61% in 2012, establishing itself as a regional pioneer


  • Bahrain women make up an average of 35% of the national workforce; 47% in the public sector and 30% in the private sector
  • Bahrain ranked first in the Middle East & North Africa with regards to the presence of women in middle management in the public sector (OECD-MENA)
  • 18 ministries have opened equal opportunities units between 2010-2013
  • Women hold 41% of the total commercial registrations
  • Establishment of 'Women Entrepreneurs Support Program'. 15,000 women supported thus far, including a $2.6m portfolio to microfinance their projects
  • Establishment of 'Tawseel', a program which trains women and offers low-cost loans to buy vehicles and manage their own transportation businesses


  • In 2004, Bahrain became the first country in the Gulf to appoint a female minister
  • In 2006, a Bahraini woman became the first female member of Parliament in the region. In 2014, 3 women were elected to Upper House of Parliament for the first time in Bahrain's history.  Women elected to municipal seats increased from one in 2010, to nine in 2014
  • Women represent 28% of Lower House of Parliament
  • In 2008, Bahrain became thefirst in the Arab World to appoint a female Jewish Ambassador
  • In 2006, Bahrain named the Gulf's first female judge; since then the number of female judges increased to 13 in the next seven years


  • In 2006, a Bahraini woman became the third woman in UN history appointed as President of UN General Assembly
  • Establishment of 'Women's Support Center' to assist widowed, divorced, or abandoned women with receiving housing services
  • 10-year old Alzain Tareq became the youngest swimmer to ever compete at a World Championships
  • Introduction of a codified family law fundamental to the protection of women's rights in line with CEDAW recommendations
  • Establishment of 'Supreme Council for Women' to elevate the status of Bahraini women, including providing legal counseling and assistance centers, fund for economic empowerment, supporting and facilitate political empowerment programs, among other initiatives
  • Establishment of a safe house to shelter victims of human trafficking and domestic worker abuse. Director-General of the 'International Organization of Migration' recently commended Bahrain's migrants workers center and shelter, stating that the treatment of the trafficked and exploited "stands as a best practice model to the world".

CONTACT:, 202-342-1111


SOURCE Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Washington, DC