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Women have to be courageous: Salma Hareb

Staff Reporter
Filed on March 12, 2008

DUBAI - Young women students were asked to raise their voice against injustice and be bold on the concluding day of Women as Global Leaders Conference on March 12.


Salma Hareb, CEO of Jebel Ali Free Zone, asserted that young women need to be bold and courageous. "If you have a voice, choose to use it and if you see injustice, try to change it. We don't have to prove anything to the world, we just have ourselves to prove," she said.

She was speaking at a panel discussion on 'Mentoring the Next Generation: A Personal Perspective', alongside Najla Mohammed Al Awar, Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet and member of Dubai Women's Club, Luluwa Al-Qatami, founder of the Women's Committee in Kuwait, and Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG).

"You may be criticised or mocked, but it is important to be bold and make a change in the society if you think it is necessary," she added.

Environmentalist Al Marashi, on the other hand, said, that the way forward for young girls was by expanding their horizons and reading continuously.

"Ask and push for research in education, believe in yourself, be determined and persevering to see your dreams come true and read a lot," she stressed.

Conceding that as an environmentalist, she has faced several challenges, Al Marashi said, "Environment is a new and a controversial issue. There are challenges while raising a concern or being vocal about it. We had to establish the credibility of our organisation and bring to the fore the seriousness of the issues. It does take more effort as a woman, than as a man."

Luluwa Al-Qatami, who also has the distinction of being the first Kuwaiti woman to have travelled to the UK to pursue higher education in 1952, spoke about the transformation in the lives of women over the past few decades.

"Earlier, Kuwaiti women left their homes only twice - once for their husband's house and second for the grave. But now after women have been given political rights, there have been huge changes," she said, comparing it to a move from darkness to light.

Najla Mohammed Al Awar, recounting her experience of working in the executive office, said that when the office was established, they had difficulty in finding women, who could work from 8am to 5pm. However, after two years, they had a lot of women working with them and had to look for male co-workers.

"Capability, performance and ability are the most important things. The gender has no bearing to a job as at work, we are all equal," she added.




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