Women’s rights advocate Dr. AlAnoud AlSharekh is a leader in the fight to end violence against women and promote women’s political participation in the Middle East. She has worked in Kuwait and throughout the region to promote women’s rights.

In this podcast, Dr. AlSharekh talks with Hindy about the challenges and opportunities for those pushing for legal reform in the the region.

Dr. AlSharekh is the founding director of the Abolish 153 campaign to end legislation that effectively gives men regulatory, judicial, and executive power over their female kin—including minimal repercussions for honor killings—in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf region. She is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights in a region where so-called “disciplinary violence” by men against their female kin remains permissible by law and by social practice. Article 153 of Kuwait’s penal code treats “honor killing”—when a man murders his sister, wife, daughter, or mother after becoming enraged by her adulterous or sexual transgression—as a misdemeanor, punishable with a maximum three-year prison sentence or a $50 fine. Last summer, three Arab countries passed legislation on violence against women following years of advocacy by local and international campaigns.

Dr. AlSharekh is also a consulting partner at Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy, where she is training a group of Kuwaiti women political leaders to run for office. In 2016 Dr. AlSharekh was awarded a knighthood (National Order of Merit) by the French government for her work promoting women’s rights in the region. She holds a PhD from SOAS London in Comparative Literature and Feminism.

Participants include:

  • AlAnoud AlSharekh, founding director of the Abolish 153 campaign
  • Lily Hindy, senior associate, The Century Foundation

Editor’s Note: This podcast was updated as of April 3, 2018.