Arab Women Leadership Forum Hails Courage of Palestinian Women

Afshan Ahmed (
Filed on January 14, 2009

DUBAI - The current human tragedy in Palestine and the Middle East crisis found an echo in the first Arab Women Leadership Forum 2009 that opened in Dubai on Tuesday.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President And Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, arrives at the Arab Women Leadership Forum on Tuesday.—KT Photo by Rahul GajjarExpressing solidarity with Palestinian women, Shaikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women’s Establishment and wife of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, praised their courage in facing the current crisis and highlighted their extraordinary strength that has always inspired Arab women, instilling pride in them.

She encouraged the participants to present innovative concepts while assuming leadership roles in their home countries and face the current challenges taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves in today’s world.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the inauguration. Over 500 prominent regional women leaders from the Arab world are participating in the two-day event.

A speaker at the Arab Women Leadership Forum makes a point as the panelists look on.—KT Photo by Rahul GajjarThemed ‘Women and Leadership: Global Trends and Local Innovations’, the forum is designed to closely examine the challenges hindering the advancement of Arab women and help develop a blueprint on their future role in the region.

A series of panel discussions held throughout the day encouraged participating woman to voice their opinions on the present scenario and what can be done. “We are indeed grateful to Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid who has always promoted the empowerment of Emirati women and ensured that we gain the necessary skill sets to succeed as equal partners in the progress of the country,” Shaikha Manal said.

She highlighted the remarkable role played by Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of both the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and the UAE General Women’s Union. “Her Highness Shaikha Fatima is a pioneer in encouraging women’s leadership, having led the UAE women and inspired us to achieve success.”

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