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Kuwaiti woman minister pledges new approach

Dhikra sees more rights for Kuwaiti women in future

Gulf News

Manama: The latest woman to be appointed minister in a Kuwaiti government has pledged a new approach to her performance and called for securing more rights for women.

“I will see to work at the ministry based on a new strategy that will match its local and international dimensions and outreach,” Dhikra Al Rashidi, the minister of social affairs and labour, said. “The ministry has many sectors and has been loaded with problems. Several ministers have been in charge of the ministry, and while some of them did make positive steps forward, others did not really have that opportunity,” she said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Anba on Thursday.

Dhikra, who at 42 is one of the youngest ministers to be appointed this week, said that she was particularly proud with the trust she enjoyed from the country’s emir, crown prince and prime minister, and highlighted the keen interest in fulfilling the people’s aspirations through implementing the projects in the development plan.

“I stress the need for cooperation between the government and the parliament to reach the status that we all hope to have,” she said.

Dhikra holds a Master’s degree in public law and was a lawyer at the Cassation Court and at the Constitutional Court, according to the biography published by Kuwaiti daily Al Shahed.

The new minister who joined Rola Dashti, the state minister for planning and development and the state minister for parliament affairs in the government, said that she looked forward to new approaches that would consolidate stability in Kuwait and protect the country and its democracy.

“The application of the law to eliminate malpractices that have harmed our society and achieve social justice is very important,” she said in remarks published by Al Rai daily. “We need political and social reforms to recover from our regression in the last seven years. We need a set of legal texts in favour of women and families as we address the decisions that have undermined women’s rights. We should build on what the women MPs elected in 2009 started so that we can be truly proud with our constitution,” she said.

Dhikra is a member of the Kuwaiti Bar Association, the Arab Lawyers Union and the Arab Women’s Legal Network. She is also member of the Kuwait Journalists Association.

Dhikra was among the 16 women who ran for parliament, but she did not win. However, her score and her charisma have triggered optimism that she would have a bright political future.

In December 2012, she made history by becoming the first “tribal” woman to win a parliament seat in the Fourth Constituency, a “closed” district that has always been exclusively dominated by men.