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Arab International Women's Forum to host first US conference
Source: BI-ME , Author: Maria Karam
Posted: Sun June 22, 2008 12:00 am

INTERNATIONAL. The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) said it is proud to partner with the World Bank to host its first US conference. 'Partners for Change: Realizing the Potential of Arab Women in the Private and Public Sector' is being held from 22-24 June 2008, in Washington DC, US. 

The two day event will stress the importance of education as the most effective means to overcoming socio-economic challenges and barriers. It will encourage dialogues on the Arab women’s role in making the Millennium Development Goals a reality.

Through Partners of Change, AIWF is widening its debate to include the development of Arab women in public and political life. It is engendering intercultural connectivity and opening a dialogue between Arab and international policymakers and entrepreneurs to remove roadblocks to women’s gainful participation in Arab politics, economies and societies.

AIWF shares the World Bank’s objectives of fostering an environment of progress, peace and prosperity for all the world’s citizens. It supports the World Bank’s role as a catalyst for growth in global infrastructure, gender, ITC, private sector development, health, education, poverty reduction and other key areas.

“Partners of Change, is an important milestone for AIWF. This conference examines opportunities for the entrepreneurial, political and economic engagement of Arab women and the collaboration of our partners in the Middle East, United States and beyond,” said AIWF Founder and Chairman, Haifa Al Kaylani. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the agenda for women’s advancement in the Arab world moves forward.”

Partners for Change will bring together AIWF (partners and members), government representatives, business leaders, academics and professionals from the Arab world, US and Europe. Eminent regional and international speakers will identify the key issues of contributions that women in business make to global economic growth and their increasing engagement in public life and government, drawing upon the experiences of global corporations and international institutions.

“I welcome the opportunity for the World Bank to partner with the AIWF and to host such a distinguished group of committed women and men from inside and outside the Middle East and North Africa region, coming together at this conference to contribute to the economic empowerment of women,” said Daniela Gressani, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank.

The conference programme also incorporates the official US launch of the book 'Domains of Influence: Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy'. Supported by AIWF, the book was produced in partnership with the World Bank as a unique testament to the impact of Arab women in today’s global environment of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

Speakers confirmed to address this conference are Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank; Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum, HE Hala Bsesio Latouf, Minister of Social Development, Jordan; HE Bahia Hariri, Member of Parliament, Lebanon; Dr Sharifa Khalfan Al Yahyai, Minister of Social Development, Oman; Dr Fakhria Diari, Former Member of the Shura Council, Bahrain; HE Ahmed Mohamed Luqman, Director General, Arab Labour Organisation, Cairo, Egypt; David Arkless, Senior Vice President-Global Corporate Affairs, Manpower; Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman, Carlson; Pernille Spiers-Lopez, President, IKEA North America; Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Joint Arab-British Chamber of Commerce; Elham Hassan, Country Senior Partner - Bahrain, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Dr Edward Montgomery, Dean, College of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Maryland; Holly Taylor Sargent, Senior Associate Dean for Advancement, Senior Director for University Women’s Initiatives, Harvard University; Nadereh Chamlou, Senior Advisor, MENA Region, the World Bank; Professor Lynda Moore, Zayed University, UAE and Simmons School of Management, US; David Hamod, President and CEO, National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce; Widad Ibrahim, Vice Chairperson, Bee Petroleum Company, Sudan; Patricia Harrison, CEO, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, US; Hdeel Abdelhady, Senior Associate, DLA Piper, UAE; Mayra Buvinic, Director, Gender and Development, the World Bank; Dr Ritva Reinikka, Sector Director, Social and Economic Development Group, Middle East and North Africa, the World Bank; and Daniela Gressani, Vice President for the Middle East & North Africa, the World Bank; Sushma K Bhan, Geosciences Data Management Discipline & Team Leader, Centre of Expertise, EP Technology Solutions, Shell International Exploration and Production.

Note: Founded in 2001 as an independent, non-profit organisation, the Arab International Women’s Forum has served as a voice for Arab women in business and in government, showcasing their contribution to economic growth and development in the Arab region and globally. Headquartered in London and led by a voluntary board of trustees, AIWF brings growing numbers of influential, progressive women in corporate, academic and public life from 22 Arab countries together with their counterparts in Europe, the Americas, Africa and beyond, to foster closer cooperation and realise the full potential of Arab women in achieving progress, prosperity and development in the region.



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