Degrees of separation among Arab women

DUBAI — There is a noticeable difference between the status of women in Arab countries and action needs to be taken to deal with this problems, said Mona Al Marri, Executive Manager of Dubai Press Club, while addressing a seminar on "Arab Women in the 21st Century" in Cairo, held as part of the Cairo International Book Fair recently.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 10 Feb 2005, 9:16 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:29 PM

Mona Al Marri also questioned the wrong portrayal of Arab women in the media and called for efforts to correct this.

A number of renowned media personalities also participated in the seminar including Dr Layla Abdul Majeed from Cairo University, Saudi journalist Amjad Rida and critic and playwright Dr Milha Abdullah.

Mona Al Marri also participated in a Press conference after the seminar to brief Egyptian journalists on Arab Journalism Award which aims at promoting excellence in Arabic media.

Addressing the seminar, Al Marri observed that there was a noticeable difference between the status of women in various Arab countries.

"For example, in some Arab countries, 60 per cent of women are uneducated. The first and most important action that needs to be taken is to effectively deal with this problem in order to enable the Arab woman and Arab communities make the best of their opportunities and face challenges," she said.

Mona Al Marri also raised another significant point which was the sad reality of discrimination against women. "This is an unacceptable reality as religion, constitutions and civil government systems all prohibit this."

She also questioned whether the portrayal of Arab women in media is actually true and whether or not issues of interest to Arab women are being fairly discussed and presented in the media. She also questioned whether this portrayal actually reflects the reality of women in Iraq, Palestine, Algeria, the countryside in Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Yemen and other countries.

"The sad reality and in fact the crisis is that this portrayal actually reflects the vision of certain elite class of society. This is the same class which is supposed to support and improve the status of women but how can we rely on them to do justice to this cause?" she questioned.

She said that the status of women in the UAE is actually considered one of the best in the Arab world due to the continuing development of education. She added that the status of women in the UAE is governed by the same laws as in the rest of the Arab world, except for two advantages, one is the special rights concerning working mothers and secondly issues relating to inheritance and other civil rights.

As part of her Cairo visit, Mona Al Marri also participated in the Press conference which was organised by the regional office for Special Olympics in the Middle East and North Africa to announce the establishment of their office in Dubai.

She said during the conference that the DPC is ready to provide full support for the office in Dubai by giving full media support and enabling those who are physically challenged to participate in all the activities organised by the Dubai office.

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