"We share a common challenge - to actively fight currents that are trying to throw us centuries behind. Despite best attempts and achievements, we are restricted by conflicts and backward ideologies," Queen Rania told a packed
23 February 2016 When you empower women you empower the whole society: Queen Rania of Jordan
Fault is that men have taken over some of the roles of women: Sheikh Abdullah
Dubai, UAE - Her Majesty Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan, yesterday called on Arab societies to break the "mould" that restricts women's participation in social development.
"We share a common challenge - to actively fight currents that are trying to throw us centuries behind. Despite best attempts and achievements, we are restricted by conflicts and backward ideologies," Queen Rania told a packed hall at Madinat Jumeirah, while giving her keynote address at the Global Women's Forum Dubai.
The Forum was graced by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who presented medals of honour to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and to Her Majesty Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan.
Earlier, the dignitaries and delegates were welcomed on behalf of H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of Dubai Women's Establishment (DWE), by Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice-President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of DWE.
"We are honoured and proud to host the Global Women's Forum in the Arab World for the first time. We are inspired by the path of innovation shown by our leadership.
"The future is full of opportunities," Al Marri said, as she invited Queen Rania to give her keynote address.
Queen Rania, following up on the 'moulds' that restrict women said: "We have to break the moulds that shape women and girls from the moment they are born. These moulds, which have been passed on through generations, restrict the development of a woman's capability, talent and ambition. We must carefully select from our history and culture the principles that give every woman the opportunity to spread her wings and show us her distinct colours.
She said such moulds are based on culture and not religion. "Islam freed women from age of ignorance. They were traders, farmers, warriors and businesswomen," she pointed out.
She said: "It is in our hands - with the promise of modern technology and innovation - to overcome any barriers facing women.
"Innovation breaks moulds. Innovation possibilities are infinite. Employ modern technology to create new society," Queen Rania said while praising the UAE leadership in creating an atmosphere for innovation to succeed.
She said: "There is no better place than the United Arab Emirates to inspire participants to innovate, for like all innovations, the Emirate of Dubai started when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, imagined an oasis of prosperity and development that competes on the international level in countless fields. He looked into the desert and he saw Dubai."
Queen Rania pointed out that any society's expectations of women directly reflects that society's potential.
"When you empower women you empower the whole society.
Empowerment Key of UAE Success
Amal Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the UAE Federal National Council (FNC), the first woman to be directly elected to the parliament in the Gulf, thanked the leadership of the UAE for empowering women to play their rightful role in societal development.
"This Forum in the UAE is a confirmation of the leading role of women in the UAE and of UAE women in the world," Al Qubaisi said.
She said UAE follows a path of integration between men and women. There is a spirit of cooperation that has created an integrated society to enhance development in all fields.
The FNC speaker pointed out that the path of political empowerment of womem in the UAE started not with the founding of the nation in 1971, but much before that in 1955 when the first girls' school was opened with 30 students.
"Education was key to enablement of women," Al Qubaisi said, while pointing out that the future is rosy.
"We dream because we are in a country where dreams come true," she said.
No Window Dressing
In his keynote address, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, pointed out that Global Women's Forum Dubai is a very important event for the region and the world.
"Empowerment of women in the UAE is not window dressing.... it is founded on a serious and organised methodology," said Sheikh Abdullah.
He pointed out that he was raised in a house where his father Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and mother Sheikha Fatima - the Father and Mother of the Nation - were partners.
He pointed out that it is very important for every country that is serious about developing society, not to exclude any one, any idea, any seed and any type of initiative.
He was confident that the Global Women's Forum Dubai would enhance the role of women.
"The fault is not that women are not working... the fault is that men have taken over the some of the roles of women," concluded Sheikh Abdullah.
About Global Women's Forum Dubai
Bringing together male and female leaders from across the world, Global Women's Forum Dubai is being held on 23-24 February 2016, at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Co-organised by the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society and Dubai Women Establishment, Global Women's Forum Dubai is the first Women's Forum for the Economy & Society event in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Global Women's Forum Dubai will highlight the UAE and region's achievements in improving gender balance, and provide a global platform for thought leaders and decision-makers to build networks, exchange ideas and share experiences, to enhance female engagement and participation. The event is expected to attract over 2,000 international and regional decision-makers, representing the business, government, academic, social and cultural sectors throughout the world.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, and led by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, Global Women's Forum Dubai will showcase the capabilities of women from the Arab world on the global stage and their contribution to the region's socio-economic growth, and help to change perceptions about Arab women. Global Women's Forum Dubai will also support the UAE's strategy to empower societies through women's participation, in addition to Dubai's vision to be recognised as a leading global events destination.
Building on the theme "Let's Innovate!", Global Women's Forum Dubai will explore what innovation really means in today's technology-focussed era. The event will address women's sustainable role in this revolutionary world, with the aim of strengthening the influence of women globally, maximising their contribution to socio-economic development, and inspiring future generations of women to actively participate in nation-building. Global Women's Forum Dubai will serve as a key platform, not only for advancing innovation, but also for highlighting the achievements and participation of Arab women in innovation. The programme will feature plenaries, interactive sessions and practical workshops under five pillars - Achieving, Creating, Giving, Energising, and Sustaining.
About Dubai Women Establishment
The Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) was formed in 2006 under law no. (24) by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. DWE is headed by Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. As a statutory body of Dubai Government and as per its founding decree, the Establishment aims to encourage and facilitate the participation of Emirati women in the workforce and society.
Its mandate includes extensive research into identifying and quantifying the status of women in the workforce of Dubai, as well as initiatives towards women's further development opportunities. Awareness and policies that are conducive to women in the workforce are recommended to the Dubai Government as solutions to enable women to play a greater role within the UAE and on a global scale. The term participation includes acknowledgment of women in arts, women in sports and women in leadership, professionally in their field as well as the societal arena, such as acts of philanthropy, humanitarianism and politics.
About the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society
Since 2005 the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society has been the world's leading platform featuring women's views and voices on major social and economic issues. Deploying the experience of both women and men - business leaders, researchers, politicians, entrepreneurs... - across all generations and geographies, our conferences feature broad, rich and edgy debates, acting as a sounding board for today's important ideas and a springboard for tomorrow's solutions. The practical discussions in our Discovery sessions typically focus not only on overcoming barriers but on creating new opportunities. The Women's Forum also promotes the advancement of women though regional and international networks. In addition to the annual Women's Forum Global Meeting in Deauville, France, important Women's Forum meetings have taken place in Brazil, Myanmar, Italy and Brussels. The first Women's Forum Mexico is scheduled for 27-28 April 2016 in Mexico City, with upcoming events planned for Tunisia and Mauritius. And the 12th edition of the Women's Forum Global Meeting will take place 30 November-2 December 2016 in Deauville.
© Press Release 2016