GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Empowerment of Women in Oman
Paper Proposal Text :
In Oman, as elsewhere, development of human resources is considered very critical to the overall development, as any country can act only through the action of its human resources. Oman government has recognized that development and prosperity cannot happen without empowering one half of their population. One of the top priorities of the government of Oman in nation building is education and empowerment of women. In the four decades, women have taken new roles on the socio-economic front. The country’s five-year plans are on realizing the full potential of women in their multiple roles. In recent years, they have taken up all the challenges confidently and forging ahead. Changes can be seen in every walk of life: women are working as doctors, engineers, lawyers, members of parliament, ministers, ambassadors, director generals, police officers, teachers, nurses…etc; they also own and run their own business. Omani women are ahead of their counterparts in some countries in the region. Due to the government’s efforts and encouragement to women to be part of the development process, they enjoy equal opportunities with their male counterparts in the country’s socio-economic life.

Women in Oman have full civil and political rights, including the right to vote, and they can stand for the membership of the Consultative Council (Majlis A’Shura), the Board of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and are appointed to the State Council (Majlis A’Dawla), and other bodies. They have been been participating in Sultanate’s executive, parliamentary, judicial and public councils and authorities for many years. At the government level, we find women in ministerial, diplomatic and official positions, performing their work efficiently. Their participation and progress would not have been possible without the firm and continuous support, and commitment to their development, from the leadership of the country. In fact, women’s rights have been guaranteed in the Basic Law of the State. Article 12 of the statute affirms that “justice and equality and equal opportunities for the Omanis are pillars of the society and are guaranteed by the state.”

The Omani women’s symposium, held in October 2009, whose recommendations His Majesty the Sultan endorsed, was another milestone in empowering women. It also underlined the importance the government gives to women in nation building. The seminar’s suggestions would form the basis for future laws aimed at safeguarding women’s rights while the existing rules would be strengthened to enhance the role of Omani women in professional jobs and businesses. One of the interesting outcomes of the symposium was to mark Omani Women’s Day on October 17 of every year.

Women’s empowerment has become a key factor of the Oman government's strategy and it has been recognized that the economic and social development of the country is dependent on the significant participation of women. Despite these efforts that have placed Oman at the forefront of other Arab countries with regards to women’s empowerment, much more remains to be done.
The paper will explore the measures that have been taken in different fields to empower Omani women and the challenges that have been faced and the way forward.