Addressing the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Kuwaiti delegation shed light on the contributions of women and girls in the state and their access to education, training, science, and technology.
The speaker was Education Ministry Coordinator for the Cabinet's Women Affairs Committee, Badriyah Al-Khaldi. She addressed the conferees on behalf of Chairperson of Women's Affairs Committee at the Kuwaiti Cabinet, Sheikha Latifa Al-Fahad Al-Salem Al-Sabah.
According to Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, The official stressed Kuwait's support to all efforts by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to encourage international and national initiatives to integrate several active groups into the educational field and to list education among socio-political programmes.
Al-Khaldi said the state is keen on realising the millennium goals. It particularly supports the item on guaranteeing elementary education for children of both genders and the item on realising gender equality by means of eliminating disparity in access to elementary and high school education between the genders by the year 2015.
The official pointed out that education is both free and compulsory in the country, as stated in the Kuwaiti Constitution, until secondary school, and that Kuwait spends 3.8 percent of its GDP on education.
The speaker added that state has five general laws regulating the field; basic education law, compulsory education law, applied education law, private education law, and elimination of illiteracy law.
In terms of performance and access for girls, Al-Khaldi said that according to ministry data compiled between scholastic years 2007-2008 and 2012-2013, there was a great development in this field. In fact, the disparity in the data was largely in favour of girls. Up to pre-university stage of education, an average USD 52,220 from Kuwait's budget is spent on a single student.
When it comes to university education and development, she said women are in the lead in this field too, whether at Kuwait University, the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, or the country's many private universities and institutes. There is also a greater number of females among the graduates in sciences, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and other majors, she added.
The official also pointed out that women are contributing to the field in leading positions as well, recalling that there had been women in the posts of Minister of Education, Under-Secretary, Kuwait University Rector, and much more, indicating that women account for 77 percent of the Education Ministry's overall employees.