A lot of women in the Arab region, and in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in particular, do not pay attention to politics because of their social, economical and educational conditions. Some even see that men are more qualified in the political work. Even though that Islamic legislations, international conventions and GCC constitutions assured the right for GCC woman in political participation.
The concept of the political right is not limited to participation in parliamentary work, but it is wider and more comprehensive that includes participation in decision making in various fields of government covering its three authorities: the executive, legislative and judicial. A women’s right in political participation includes her rights in all fields, in order to become an effective member and a positive participant in the development of the society. This also includes her participation and involvement in the decision making process as a citizen that looks forward to participate and gives her point of view and needs in the process of society development bearing in mind there are many women’s problems that a man can’t solve simply because she is capable of understanding her feminine nature.
In some GCC countries women have recently made considerable progress toward formal equality of political rights, but in others they have not. The governing elite in the GCC countries generally supports women's political rights, but strong social sentiment against women's participation in politics persists, as does economic and social discrimination. Nevertheless, the lack of available tools and services for women to communicate, share experience and exchange ideas.
In July 2006, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, at the invitation of the Shura Council of Bahrain, organized the first regional conference for women in decision making positions in the GCC States. This conference brought together women members of parliament, ministers, members of local councils, candidates and women working in parliament from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This first positive experience confirmed the need to offer a space for women to debate and share their experiences on issues related to women's political participation and gender issues in general. Because of the important outcomes of the conference, it was organized again and again the following years.
Despite the above, the prospects for women's political emancipation in the GCC countries remain slim.