Women empowerment award jury announced

Manama: Jury members who will decide the winners of the Princess Sabeeka Bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women Empowerment have been announced in Bahrain.

The award, named after Bahrain’s First Lady and champion of women’s rights, recognises the commitment by states, entities and organisations, through their legislative, executive entities, public and private agencies and civil society, to the policy of non-discrimination against women and to equal opportunities for women and men at all levels.

The jury will be headed by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the United Nations Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

From 2005 to 2008, Mlambo-Ngcuka served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women.

The jury includes Helen Elizabeth Clark who served as the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, and was the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme from 2009 to 2017. She was also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

Shaikha Haya Bint Rashid Al Khalifa, a Bahraini lawyer who was President of the 61st United Nations General Assembly in 2006-2007, is also a member of the jury.

Shaikha Haya was the third woman in the world and the first Arab woman to be president of a UN General Assembly.

Another outstanding legal personality is Marike Paulsson, the director of the International Arbitration Institute at the University of Miami and lecturer in Law. She is also the vice-president for North America of the Global Legal Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution Centre of the University of Sao Paolo and had recently been appointed Vice-President for North America of the Mauritius Arbitration & Mediation Centre.

Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, the current Ambassador of Brazil to Italy and former Minister of External Relations, is also member of the jury. He was Ambassador of Brazil to the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations in New York (2013-2017). Patriota was the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women Bureau for the 61st session (2017).

Professor Mustafa Al Faqi, director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, is a member too. The Egyptian is a politician who was the Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and Middle East Affairs, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the League of Arab States (1999).

Another member is Mohammed Naciri, the regional director for the Arab States for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Before his current appointment, he served as Deputy Regional Director, Arab States, UN Women.

The jury will scrutinise the applications for the award and will announce the winners who will be honoured at a high-level ceremony.

The award launched this year highlights the efforts, initiatives and institutional and individual projects aimed at integrating the needs of women in order to contribute to positive change in their reality and achieve a more stable and productive life.

General criteria adopted to qualify for the award include most notably the creation of scientific methodologies and policies to bridge gaps in favour of women in various sectors and sustaining their application.

Another criteria is contribution to choices and quality services for different age groups of women and support of policies and methodologies for women’s empowerment, equal opportunities and gender balance.

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