Kuwaiti MP Rula Dashti awarded North-South Prize by European Council

May 20, 2010

Social activist and Member of Parliament Rula Dashti has been awarded the 2009 North-South Prize by the European Council.

Council officials said that Rula was particularly recognized for her long campaign for women’s rights in Kuwait and her achievement in getting eligibility and voting rights for women in 2005.

Rula received the prize at a ceremony in Lisbon from Portuguese President Anibal Cacaco Silva. The second winner is Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the USSR and Nobel Peace Prize.

The 47-member state European Council said that Rula was a leading activist in Kuwait and throughout the region who advocated democratic reform andfought for gender equality and increasing roles for women in public life.

“She has been involved in several volunteering activities since her undergraduate years, where she worked with the International Red Cross in Lebanon to assist refugee families from the south in 1982. She has also been involved in various activities for the economic empowerment of women in the Republic of Yemen.”

Rula is one of four women who made history in May 2009 when they won seats to become the first women to enter the Kuwaiti parliament.

The North-South Prize has been awarded annually since 1995 to two figures, one from the south and one from the north, for “their unfailing engagement, their remarkable achievements and the hope they have given in the area of protecting human rights, the promotion of intercultural dialogue and solidarity and North-South partnership.”

The candidates, preferably a man and a woman, must have distinguished themselves in the the areas of protection of human rights, defense of pluralist democracy, public awareness raising on issues of global interdependence and solidarity, and strengthening the North-South partnership.



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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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