The path to put women on the bench in Kuwait has been long and controversial. Without real political will to increase opportunities for women, the wheels of change will continue to turn slowly.
Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Consulting Partner; Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy
Alanoud Al-Sharekh is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She is also a consulting partner at Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy and a research associate at the London Middle East Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and has held senior consultative and teaching positions in academic, governmental, and nongovernmental institutions in the Gulf and abroad. She is a board member of several academic and nongovernmental organizations, chairperson of the Abolish 153 campaign (winner of the 2016 European Union Chaillot Prize for Human Rights), to end honor-killing legislation in Kuwait and the neighboring region, and the “Friends who Care” project for girls under 21 years of age at risk within Kuwait’s social care system.
She has been a visiting fellow conducting research on Gulf Cooperation Council demographics at the LMEI, SOAS; a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies; a strategy advisor at the Kuwait National Security Bureau; a consultant researcher at the Supreme Council for Development and Planning in Kuwait; and a gender politics consultant for UNIFEM, Freedom House, and the United Nations Development Programme on academic and social outreach projects in Kuwait and the GCC. She holds a BA from King’s College, London and a master’s and PhD from SOAS. Her teaching posts include Kuwait University, Gulf University of Science and Technology, and the Arab Open University, and she is a visiting lecturer at Uppsala University, Sweden, and Fulbright Scholar on Women and Islam at Whittier College, where she is the CEC Distinguished Fellow for Engagement with the Communities (2017-18).
Her research won the Arab Prize for best publication in a foreign journal in 2014, and includes books such as The Gulf Family: Kinship Policies and Modernity and Popular and Political Cultures of the GCC, examining the persistent importance of family and tribe in modern Gulf politics and society. She was awarded the knighthood of the National Order of Merit by the French government in 2016 for her dedication to improving women’s rights in the region.