Bahrain’s Women Pioneers: Lulwa Al Awadi
March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
“Women must be able to identify all relevant provisions in the Constitution and the means to exercise their political rights” – Lulwa Al Awadi
After adopting the New Constitution in 2002, Bahraini women saw a major societal shift known as “the opening of civil society.” They were granted the right to vote as well as the ability to participate in national elections as candidates. The Supreme Council for Women in Bahrain, established in 2001 as an advisory body to the government, played a major role in further advancing women’s rights such as these.
As one of the first women in Bahrain to practice law, Lulwa Al Awadhi was named ‘honorary cabinet minister’ of the Supreme Council in 2001. She was widely recognized as an influential pioneer in Bahrain and a major advocate for women’s rights, which she portrayed through her work.
Awadhi boldly led the Council’s campaign to pressure parliament to implement a Personal Status Law that protected women’s rights in conflicts of divorce and inheritance. She was one of the leaders in Bahrain that openly demanded greater enforcement and protection of women’s rights.
During a Human Rights Committee at the Kuwaiti parliament, she addressed women’s rights saying, “The problems are the same [worldwide], but they differ in ratio and vary according to economic, social and cultural factors.” Awadi went on to encourage women in the region and worldwide to participate in politics and exercise their rights.
As a result of the influential role she played in Bahrain’s women’s rights movement, Awadi was appointed to Secretary-General of the Supreme Council in 2002 and was appointed by HM the King to Shura Council in November 2010. She has continued to strive for the advancement of women’s role in society since and remains one of the leading female figures in the Kingdom.