Women Can and Do Global Leadership Awards
Rola Dashti, a pioneer in the movement for women’s rights in Kuwait, lobbied for the passage of the decree in 2005 to grant women the right to vote and run in parliamentary elections.
One year later, she was the first woman to file her papers at the election department when registration opened. She stood as a candidate in the 2006 parliamentary elections on a platform of democratic reform, gender equity and expanding the roles of women in public life.
Three years later, in 2009, Rola finally won a seat. She joined three other women in becoming the first female parliamentarians of Kuwait. It was a crowning achievement atop a career of distinction. Rola was the first woman elected to chair the Kuwaiti Economic Society, and founded the Women Participation Organization to involve women in politics. She also chaired an international consultancy firm that focuses on the privatization and activation of small and medium enterprises.
Rola was honored with the Global Citizens Award at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, and has received numerous recognitions, including The King Hussein Humanitarian Award in 2005. In 2007 and 2008, Rola was listed among the 100 Most Influential Arabs.
At the 2006 Global Leadership Awards, Vital Voices recognized Rola along with six other Kuwaiti women in honor of their historic achievement of women’s suffrage.