x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai sets forum on expanding leadership role of Arab women

The first Arab Women's Leadership Forum will take place in Dubai next month with the main focus on the challenges hindering the advancement of Arab women.

ABU DHABI // The first Arab Women's Leadership Forum will take place in Dubai next month. The organisers, the Dubai Women Establishment, announced that the two-day gathering will start on Jan 13 and focus on the challenges hindering the advancement of Arab women. The theme of the inaugural meeting is Women and Leadership: Global Trends and Local Innovations, and will feature talks, panel discussions and workshops.

"Every panellist at the forum has been carefully selected for their experience and shared vision. Besides acclimatising the key participants with the achievements marked by women in the Arab world, the event will also draw up a roadmap for further enhancing their participation in all spheres of the region's growth," said Mona al Marri, the chairwoman of the Dubai Women Establishment. "The forum's programme looks into relevant local and international best practices from which women can benefit and use as a bridge for accomplishing further milestones."

May al Dabbagh, the director of the gender and public policy programme and research fellow at the Dubai School of Government, will moderate the opening session. Panellists will include Prof Barbara Gutek, of the department of management and organisations at the University of Arizona; Prof Rohini Pande, of the public policy department at John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; Prof Alice Eagly, head of social psychology from Northwestern University; and Asya al Lamky, cultural attaché at the Embassy of Oman in Washington, DC.

The second session, on developing leadership among women, will be moderated by Stavros Yiannouka, vice dean of executive education and development at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. In this session, Adel al Shared, director of nationals' development at the Dubai Executive Council and head of the Mohammed bin Rashid Leadership Programme, will present case studies of Dubai's leadership achievements.

Najla al Awadhi, a member of Federal National Council and deputy chief executive of Dubai Media, will moderate the third session on how to foster leadership among women within organisations. The final session will examine ways to close the leadership gender gap, to be headed by Prof Iris Bohnet, faculty chairwoman of the women and public policy programme at the John F Kennedy School of Government.

The closing remarks of the first day will be given by Maitha al Shamsi, managing director of the Dubai Women Establishment. The meeting will be led by Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed, president of Dubai Women Establishment, and held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE. The Dubai Women Establishment focuses on creating rules and regulations for a number of women's issues, including the balance between professional and family lives, nurturing future leaders, and providing employment and training for women.

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae