The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and the Royal University for Women (RUW) in the Kingdom of Bahrain agreed today to establish the RUW Women’s Research Centre.
The three parties signed an agreement which outlines several priority areas for cooperation to contribute towards the development of the scientific, intellectual and cultural arenas of human sciences related to women’s issues in the region. During the first phase, they will work on the development of the guiding principles and the framework of the Centre to ensure its sustainability and resilience.
"Establishing a research centre on women studies in a renowned academic complex such as the RUW is not an easy task; however, through this partnership, we will be able to overcome all the obstacles and challenges that we might face when carrying out the tasks entrusted to this Centre,” said ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti.
The Center will contribute to enhancing knowledge about the reality of women and girls in the region at the political, economic and social levels, and will provide qualitative research to investigate the dynamics of societies to identify factors and interventions that can foster gender equality.
“Our partnership is important since the Centre will serve as a scientific knowledge hub not only for Bahrain but also for the entire Arab region, providing important studies and research that can help in empowering women in the region,” Dashti added.
Findings of the research will be used to support the current endeavours of policymakers in the region to introduce the necessary reforms at the legislative level and continue developing programmes that address the needs of women.
For her part, Secretary-General of Bahrain's Supreme Council for Women Hala Al-Ansari commended the fruitful cooperation among the three partners, which has led to the establishment of the Centre. "This new entity falls under one of the most important areas of expertise of our Council: producing studies and research to support decision makers in developing policies on women's issues," she added.
The Center will also contribute significantly to enhancing the research skills of students, researchers and other engaged persons, and will help alert them to the social and cultural biases that impact gender equality in the region.
Al-Ansari added that the Council would pay particular attention to the new Centre and would rely on it for its research. She also praised the generous support of RUW, which will be hosting it, and the technical support provided by ESCWA.
“RUW has had a long and fruitful collaboration with the SCW, which already resulted in many successful research and community projects over the last decade. We are now very excited to work in partnership with both SCW and ESCWA, which will provide the strategic vision in setting up the Women’s Research Centre”, said Chairman of RUW Board of Trustees Fahad Al Zamil, adding that RUW would strive to turn the Centre into an interdisciplinary research unit, focusing on women’s issues such as leadership, equality and representation, and to instill social consciousness about a gender just society.
“RUW is the only women’s university in Bahrain offering high quality programmes, with a vision to become the regional leader in academic excellence. We also encourage and support our faculty to conduct high impact research. This collaboration with SCW and ESCWA will add a global dimension to research related to women’s studies,” Al Zamil concluded.
The Centre will provide a venue for practical and innovative policy focused research and documentation to address the situation of women and girls in the region, while building a strong foundation for gender-based innovation and transformation.