The Arab states of the Persian Gulf are made of the kingdoms of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the sultanate of Oman, the states of Kuwait and Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. These six countries form the members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. http://en.wikipedia.org:80/wiki/Cooperation_Council_for_the_Arab_States_of_the_Persian_Gulf





Gulf States Program to Tackle Women's Issues   


 The Peninsula - 17 October, 2008

A Qatari envoy to the United Nations has outlined plans for a Gulf-wide committee designed to tackle domestic violence and other issues that affect the lives of women in the Arabian peninsula.

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were striving to improve conditions for women, Alya Ahmed bint Saif Al Thani, counsellor at Qatar's UN mission, told a meeting of the world body in New York.

Al Thani said the proposed committee would oversee bodies in all GCC countries that tackle domestic violence and work towards improving job and educational prospects for women.

"A study is currently under way for the establishment of a Council ministerial committee that would coordinate and organise the work of the councils and entities relevant to the issues of women, children and the family in the GCC states," Al Thani said at UN headquarters in New York this week.

Representing all members of the GCC Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia Al Thani addressed the General Assembly's third committee during a debate on the role of women in

The diplomat said Gulf governments had already set up refuges and telephone hotlines to assist victims of domestic violence as part of national strategies to combat the scourge.

"They have also undergone a stage of legislative reviews to ensure the explicit criminalisation of such offences, and are currently engaged in augmenting the database for domestic violence and violence against children and women, while focussing on training professionals working in the fields relevant to cooperation with international organisations," she said.

A GCC panel has already improved female access to the Gulf job market and improved social security and retirement programmes to give women a better chance in the workplace.

"Emphasis has been placed on the importance of improving the situation of limited-income women and assisting with their integration in social life, protecting women from all forms of violence and sustaining efforts to eradicate illiteracy among girl children and women," added the diplomat.

Al Thani told the UN's committee for social, humanitarian and cultural issues that governments should develop divergent strategies towards female empowerment.

"It is necessary also to emphasise that there is no single model that can be applied in all countries, but, rather, every state must find the appropriate basis and the convenient plans to confront this violence," said Al Thani.

Within the Gulf, Al Thani spoke of the need to develop laws and guidelines "in line with the tenets of the Islamic Shariah" and highlighted the "importance of sensitising society to the significance of the role of women in the family and in society".

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