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"Women in Public Life" Conf. opens in Bahrain

MANAMA, Dec 8 (KUNA) -- It is a basic demand that the Arab communities show further support to women for their influential role in the stability of families and the entire society, said Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) Hala Al-Ansari on Tuesday.
Addressing the opening of the conference on "Women in Public Life: From Policies to Impact" that kicked off today, Al-Ansari added that Arabs' concern about women's issues is prompted by a belief in their human right and by a social conviction of the necessity of women participation in all fields of life.
Al-Ansari stressed the necessity of monitoring women's economic conditions to explore obstacles hindering fulfilment of their expected role. For her, the conference offers an opportunity to discuss means of bridging the gap between men and women.
For her part, Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Mari Kiviniemi, told the opening that application of policies seeking to lessen the gap between men and women aims to muster capacities, support the economy and consolidate development.
She said that women in the Arab region are making steps toward a lesser gap with men.
Kiviniemi said that Arab women have made remarkable progress in fields of education and health, but they are few not in decision-making positions.
Bahraini Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Al-Mutawa told the conference that women constitute up to 36 percent of the Kingdom's workforce, reflecting success by the Bahraini governance in support of women.
The Kingdom has been keen on empowering women, on the political, economic and social levels, the minister said, referring to an increase of women joining company boards of directors, as well as their business registers, about 41 percent. (end) mga.msa