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BREAKING STEREOTYPES – KUWAITI WOMEN TURNING TIDES



The students of the Department of Political Science, Human Rights and Journalism attended a presentation on Breaking Stereotypes – Kuwaiti Women Turning Tides by Mrs. Chaitali Roy Banerjee, based on her book Women of Kuwait – Turning Tides on August 13, 2016. Mrs. Roy Banerjee is associated with Kuwait media both as Special Correspondent of Arab Times, Kuwait’s premier English daily and as producer/editor in the state owned Radio Kuwait Foreign Service. Through her passionate presentation she put across her conviction that it was not religion that impedes the progress of women. Rather, the obstacles they face are socio-cultural, institutional and at times political in nature. This was well illustrated by giving the audience a glimpse into the lives of some highly accomplished women in Kuwait. The story of Sarah Akbar left everyone spellbound. When Iraq left Kuwait after the Gulf War, it set oil wells on fire. Few Kuwaitis were involved in the firefighting exercise, but one young Hijab-clad Kuwaiti woman, an engineer by profession, refused to give up. She persuaded her seniors to let her go, and she fought with the men. In fact, she led the men, as they put out one of the worst fires in modern history. Sara Akbar is presently the CEO of Kuwait Energy. The students were enthralled by the presentation, as the tendency amongst most is to stereotype Muslim women as shrouded and shackled. Most had no idea that women in Kuwait are like women in other parts of the world except that they live in a different cultural context. Thus the presentation was both inspirational and enlightening.

BREAKING STEREOTYPES – KUWAITI WOMEN TURNING TIDES Images

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