Kuwait celebrates International Women’s Day 2019 with Ring the Bell ceremony at Kuwait Stock Exchange

Date: Sunday, March 10, 2019

Participants Ring the Bell to celebrate IWD 2019 at Kuwait Stock Exchange. Photo credit: UNDP

Boursa Kuwait marked International Women’s Day for the second year in the row with a “Ring the Bell” ceremony to promote awareness of the role the private sector can play to support achievement of women’s economic empowerment. This event took place in the context of efforts by the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) and the Kuwait University Women’s Research and Studies Centre (WRSC) in partnership with UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS) and UNDP Kuwait, on a comprehensive programme to support accelerated national implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (SDG 5). 

This year, Ring the Bell events held in stock exchanges in more than 80 countries worldwide focused on showcasing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) as a resource to support the private sector to promote women’s economic empowerment. A joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact, the WEPs offer concrete guidance for private companies to take action to make workplaces, marketplaces and communities more gender-responsive. The importance of WEPs to promote women’s economic empowerment and contribute to sustainable development has been highlighted by the State of Kuwait’s commitment through its SDG 5 programme to support private sector companies to receive specialized training on WEPs and their implementation.

On the sidelines of the event, Boursa Kuwait CEO, Mr. Khaled Abdulrazzaq AlKhaled, signed the WEPs CEO Statement of Support, highlighting the global message. Mr. Khaled noted that Boursa Kuwait believes that “a diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to higher productivity, customer retention, as well as to drive innovation… Boursa Kuwait will continue to promote gender diversity in senior management and on the boards of directors of listed companies and strengthen efforts to improve transparency on gender policies and practices within our organization and our market participants.”

Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General of the GSSCPD, highlighted the contribution of the national programme to promote implementation of SDG 5, and the importance of women’s economic empowerment to achieve sustainable development. Kuwait will present its work on SDG 5 implementation during the upcoming Commission on the Status of Women 63 proceedings to be held in New York in March. Dr. Lubna Al-Kazi, WRSC Director, expressed appreciation for the support of Boursa Kuwait on this second Ring the Bell ceremony and noted that 12 Kuwaiti companies have already signed the WEPs CEO Statement of Support with more expressing interest to join the WEPs global community.

Representing UN Women ROAS, Ms. Nicolla Hewitt commended the State of Kuwait on its support to WEPs and Ring the Bell and outlined the seven pillars of WEPs to promote women’s economic empowerment. Ms. Hewitt noted that “the private sector has a pivotal role in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women. Working hand in hand with committed private sector leaders is the only way forward to ensure women and men have the opportunity to contribute equally to sustainable national development”.