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Al-Ghanim to ‘head’ Kuwait’s team for IPU meets in Geneva ‘Public awareness about need to elect women MPs vital’

KUWAIT CITY, March 13, (KUNA): A delegation of Kuwaiti lawmakers, headed by Speaker of the Parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim will leave here on Saturday to Geneva to attend meetings of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU), slated for the period March 15-20, it was announced on Thursday. This will be the 130th IPU assembly at which it is expected a number of subjects will be thrashed by IPUs permanent committees including those on (Peace and International Security), (Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade), (Democracy and Human Rights), (Meeting of Women Parliamentarians ), and (Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the IPU).

Among agenda items the meetings of the IPU will take up will be election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the 130th Assembly, consideration of requests for the inclusion of an emergency item in the Assembly agenda, general debate on IPU’s renewing its commitment to peace and democracy, and efforts toward a nuclearweapon- free world and the contribution of parliaments to that. Also on the agenda will be the subject of risk-resilient development while taking into consideration demographic trends and natural constraints, and the role of parliaments in protecting the rights of children, in particular unaccompanied migrant children, and in preventing their exploitation in situations of war and conflict.

Meanwhile on the sidelines of the main IPU meetings, there will be other meetings by Gulf, Arab, and Islamic nations which are represented in the Arab Inter-Parliament Union. Special meetings among GCC lawmakers will also be organized to coordinate their stances vis-a-vis issues of common concern. Meanwhile, Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), on Tuesday said growing public awareness of the need to elect women parliamentarians in Kuwait is very important for the country’s welfare. Johnsson told KUNA in the margins of the launch by IPU and UN Women of the “Global Map of Women in Politics” that public awareness should build up in Kuwait before parliamentary elections. What is at stake here is the welfare of Kuwait.” He said experience has amply proven that “if you have much larger women in parliament, you get better decisions.

That includes an understanding and experience which are not the same as that of men. We would be foolish not to take that into account, that’s why we need them (women parliamentarians), besides the fact that it is also their right.” He said “Kuwait has struggled with this issue over many years. It had progresses and had setbacks.

It is at very, very low rate (number of women parliamentarians.) It needs to do a lot better,” adding that Kuwait has “very committed women.” Kuwait is rated 135 out 149 countries listed on the map. Rwanda is listed number one, with 63.8 percent women Parliamentarians. Lebanon is rated 139, Oman 143 and Qatar 147.

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