The Role of Women in Policy-Making, Think Tanks, and Research I 6th Annual Derasat Forum

The 6th Annual Derasat Forum will examine the causes of the existing imbalances by directly engaging current think tank leaders‭ and the next generation who will be looking to take over the reins in the coming decade‭. ‬The Forum will also explore the impacts of the national initiatives led by the Supreme Council for Women in Bahrain towards women’s advancement and achieving gender balance, while exploring effective methods of realizing more equitable outcomes for the sector‭. ‬The sessions aim to look at the empowerment and trust in female researchers by weighing the significance of their research cases and the extent to which positive outcomes have been consequently realized and addressed‭.‬

Since female empowerment and advancement is a challenge that exists in many sectors beyond the research and policy world‭, ‬the Forum will provide‭ ‬a general analysis that applies broadly‭. ‬However‭, ‬it will also focus on the issues that are specific to think tanks and thought leadership‭. ‬This topic is especially important at present due to the increasing number of major crises the world is currently facing‭. ‬The positive contribution that think tanks can make to policy is a critical topic of discussion‭, ‬and understanding how to maximize this contribution in a just and equitable manner is an issue that demands the attention of the entire research community‭.‬

In many research and policy-related disciplines‭, ‬the empowerment and advancement of women remain highly salient‭. ‬This is especially true in the‭ ‬upper echelons of the fields that think tanks dominate‭, ‬such as security‭, ‬foreign policy‭, ‬economics‭, ‬and energy‭. ‬Underrepresentation persists despite the high levels of female enrollment in the higher education programs that feed into the research and administrative positions in think tanks‭.‬

Affording women equal opportunities to be thought leaders is a fundamental right that is independent of any economic benefits that this may confer‭. ‬Despite this‭, ‬scholarly research has demonstrated the existence of significant returns associated with ensuring that women have equal access to top positions in the research community‭. ‬The simplest cause is that women represent half‭ ‬of the labor pool‭, ‬and so marginalizing them is tantamount to artificially limiting the depth of talent from which to select leaders‭. ‬Beyond this‭, ‬leadership teams that are more diverse in composition tend to be more diverse in terms of ideas generated‭, ‬which is critical for research institutions‭. ‬

Session 1: Women Thought Leaders | Past aspirations and present achievements

The panel will include input from female thought leaders in various fields of research. It will consist of a diverse range of women executives who have worked across the think tank and government industries. The panelists will provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing women in each sector across the region.

Session 2: National Initiatives in the Field of Women’s Advancement and Governance of Gender Balance Applications 

This discussion aims to shed light on the importance of national initiatives for women’s advancement and achieving gender balance in governance. Additionally, it will cover policies that promote women’s rights, strategies for increasing women’s leadership and participation in decision-making, and initiatives for women’s economic empowerment.

Session 3: Eliminating misconceptions | Shaping the Direction of Research and Policy at Macro Levels

The session discusses the future direction for research and policy in the GCC region, with a focus on emerging trends and areas of focus. It explores the influence of social dynamics on attitudes towards work and education. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of international cooperation in research and policy-making, highlighting the need for collaboration between countries, organizations, and institutions. The session also examines the role of experts, scholars, and researchers in shaping policy at the macro level, while considering mechanisms to ensure effective collaboration and mitigate conflicts of interest.

Session 4: Women in Think Tanks | Her Perception in Policymaking

The session will focus on the role of women in think tanks and their significant contributions to policymaking. It will highlight their experiences and insights, showcasing the valuable perspectives they bring to the table. Gender equality within think tanks will be discussed, acknowledging the progress made thus far and exploring the necessary steps to ensure equal representation and opportunities for women. The importance of women’s perspectives in policymaking will be emphasized, with examples demonstrating how their participation has influenced policy outcomes. The session will also address the barriers that women face in the field and promote mentorship and collaboration as means to overcome these challenges and support women in their professional growth.

Session 5: Closing the Gap and the Way Forward

This session highlights the role of education in bridging gaps between communities and promoting peace, while analyzing the challenges and opportunities it presents. It also focuses on conflict resolution and peacebuilding as effective means to foster understanding and cooperation between conflicting parties. The discussion will emphasize the United Nations’ role in promoting global peace, including the challenges it faces and potential pathways for addressing pressing global issues. Additionally, the impact of globalization on social and economic gaps worldwide will be explored, emphasizing the need for a more equitable and sustainable global system.