Dr. AlAnoud Al Sharekh is a researcher, academic and activist focused on youth and gender demographics, GCC security, bi-cultural trends and her special area of interest: Arab Feminist Theory, and is currently a Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute, the Chatham House and the Arab Gulf Institute in Washington.
An outspoken advocate for women and minority rights in Kuwait, AlAnoud utilizes her voice as a member of Kuwait’s thriving civil society and an academic to help facilitate public discussion about pivotal issues facing Arab society. She lectures in institutions in the region and abroad, and has published numerous books and articles focusing on political identity, cultural politics, gender and kinship policies in the Arabian Gulf.
AlAnoud is the director at Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy and serves as an advisor to a number of local and international governmental bodies and NGOs, offering her insights on various cultural and sociopolitical issues in the region. She has worked as a gender politics consultant for UNIFEM, Freedom House, and the UNDP on academic and social outreach projects in Kuwait and the GCC, and at SOAS, London. Her previous posts include Senior Fellow for Regional Politics at the International Institute of Strategic Studies and Senior Political Analyst at the Kuwait National Security Bureau and Consultant Researcher at the Supreme Council for Development and Planning in Kuwait.
She has also held numerous teaching positions throughout her career, both in her home country and abroad, with posts at Kuwait University, Gulf University of Science and Technology and the Arab Open University, as well as being a visiting lecturer at Uppsala University, Sweden and SOAS London, and a Fulbright Scholar on Women and Islam at Whittier College, USA. She is also heavily involved with a number of non-profit organizations and civic society groups, including AIWF, Eithar and Abolish 153 – the campaign to fight honor killing legislation which she founded and currently serves as Chairperson of, as well as being the acting director of the Friends who Care Campaign that seeks to help at risk young women (under the age of 21) within Kuwait’s social care system.
AlAnoud holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from King’s College, London, where she graduated with honors in 1996. She completed her post-graduate education at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, earning a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and English-Arabic Language and Translation, and a PhD Near and Middle Eastern Studies – Comparative Literature and Feminism.
In 2016 Alanoud was awarded a knighthood by the French Government (National Order of Merit) for her work promoting women's rights in the region, she also received the Arab Prize for best publication in a foreign journal (2013-2014) by the Doha Institute in 2014, and won the Voices of Success Kuwait award in 2012. For the past year Dr Alsharekh has been leading Ibtkar’s Empowering Kuwaiti Women in Politics program, where 15 Kuwaiti women are being trained in political leadership, as well as being the consulting partner of the Women’s Mentor Forum which supports women in the corporate sector and the ASAP Initiative which focuses on mental health awareness.