Bahrain has made the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, a central component of its socio-economic planning. The SDGs represent 17 global objectives that call for action to eradicate poverty, preserve the planet, and promote peace and prosperity by 2030. The kingdom has made significant strides towards achieving these goals domestically, with the government taking steps to align its national strategies with the SDGs. This includes Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, the country’s long-term socio-economic development blueprint, which aims to create a sustainable economy, enhance human capital, and promote social justice and environmental sustainability in line with the SDG goals.

In 2021 Bahrain launched an SDG portal, which offers updated data on key indicators linked to the goals and tracks the country’s progress towards each SDG. The portal is an essential tool for promoting transparency and accountability, as it enables citizens, policymakers and stakeholders to access reliable information about Bahrain’s progress towards these goals, and identify areas that need more attention and resources. Furthermore, the portal serves as a platform for sharing best practices and innovative solutions to help streamline organisational activities.

Women’s Empowerment

Bahrain has made advances towards improving women’s empowerment and gender equality in recent years. As of March 2021 women accounted for 49% of the workforce, exceeding the global average of 47%. According to the “Women, Business and the Law 2022” report by the World Bank, Bahrain received a higher overall score than the regional average. The report specifically recognises Bahrain’s efforts to mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value, which is a significant step towards gender equality in the workplace. This followed the 2020 government resolution prohibiting gender discrimination in wages. Additionally, the government has launched initiatives to support female entrepreneurs, enhance their access to financing and provide business support services. These measures, along with the country’s high literacy rate and increasing levels of education, indicate positive progress towards women’s empowerment in Bahrain.

According to the World Economic Forum, Bahraini women are making notable progress in the technology industry, and the country is a leader in the Middle East and North Africa region in terms of gender parity in the ICT sector. This is due in large part to government initiatives that aim to promote gender diversity in the workforce, as well efforts by women themselves to break barriers and succeed in previously male-dominated fields. In terms of political empowerment, women occupied 15% of parliamentary seats following the 2018 elections. This figure rose to 20% after the 2022 elections.

Energy Transition

Bahrain has made commitments to transition to a more sustainable and green economy. Under the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the National Renewable Energy Action Plan, the kingdom set a target of generating 5% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and 10% by 2035, and is aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. According to the SDG portal, 99.9% of the population has primary access to clean fuels and technology, which has far-reaching benefits. This level of access has the potential to significantly reduce environmental pollution and improve public health. Furthermore, Bahrain has invested heavily in infrastructure projects ensuring that 100% of the population has reliable access to electricity. This achievement is critical for promoting socio-economic development and enhancing the quality of life for citizens.

In recent years Bahrain has intensified its efforts to conserve natural resources by establishing of protected marine areas, as well as setting national standards on energy efficiency and carbon emissions. This includes a target to reduce emissions by 30% by 2035.