16 MENA countries celebrate year's achievement at the 'ALWANE' Regional Summit in Amman
- Jordan: Tuesday, November 13 - 2012 at 15:03
- PRESS RELEASE
130 men and women representing 16 Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa are taking part in a two day 'ALWANE' Regional Summit held in the Jordanian capital.
Commenting on the summit, Hon. Marjorie Margolies - Women's Campaign International (WCI) Founder and President, said: "It brings us great pride and joy to celebrate together today the astonishing achievements of young Arab men and women in the MENA region who have put their best foot forward to advance women's participation and leadership on societal, economic and political levels."
The summit agenda includes interactive sessions, workshops and networking events where country delegates discuss and shed light on the issues and obstacles facing women in their respective countries, and share the results of their advocacy and policy work to date. A main deliverable at the summit is the official release of the ALWANE 2012 Regional Policy Report which consists of country committees' policy recommendations that address the most pressing issues facing women in their respective countries. After the summit, committees will present their recommendations to the policy leaders and decision makers in their countries.
For the opening ceremony, the summit will host key note speaker H.E. Ms Asma Khader, who will share her insight as a prominent lawyer, advocate, human rights activist and consultant who seeks to utilize her skills and know how to improve the rights of women and children in Jordan and across the Middle East. Joining in the opening ceremony was key note speaker Prof. Rula Quawas, Professor of Arab Feminism at the University of Jordan, will talk about women's collective efforts towards equality.
During a Country Committee Exhibit in the first morning, country delegates will have the opportunity to meet ALWANE members from all 16 countries, explore the diversity of women's issues and successes across the region, and learn more about the various projects each committee is currently working on.
In the first day, topics discussed will include women and entrepreneurship, youth engagement in policy and decision-making and social media strategies. On the second day, technology start-ups and established firms will share their projects with participants in an Arab Tech Start-Ups exhibit. Some of these include Tadreesna, Curlstone, Reach 2.0, D1G, Google Ambassadors and Oasis 500. This exhibit is followed by an interactive art workshop for participants in addition to sessions addressing topics including Arab Feminism, Combating Gender Stereotypes, Women and the Economy, Women in the Media, and Women and Technology. A group of tech savvy ALWANE members will also meet to brainstorm the design of ALWANE's first-ever smart phone application that could raise awareness of women's issues in the region, and build the network's capacity to communicate and collaborate in their efforts.
"The strength and priorities of women's empowerment movements vary tremendously across the region. As a result, collective, regional mobilization is essential to protect, consolidate and advance the region's movement towards greater gender equality," commented Ms Maali Qasem Khader, Regional Director of ALWANE and Founder & CEO of Schema Advisory. She added, "in just one year, the coalition's use of innovative technologies, engagement of young, emerging voices, and unprecedented regional collaboration has led to inspiring success stories of nation-wide advocacy, awareness, and policy efforts that will motivate lasting change across the MENA region."
The summit will be wrapped up by a gala dinner for all attendees, during which special guests from each country will be honoured, including HRH Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, prominent Saudi business leader and organizer of the Saudi-women's climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, Dr Safa Nasser Al Din, the first female Palestinian Minister for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Dr Muna Salim Al Jardani, Oman's Undersecretary for Technological Education and Vocational Training, and Honourable Sabah El Tamimi, member of the Baghdad Provincial Council.
ALWANE coalition is supported by "Women's Campaign International (WCI)", an international non-governmental organization that advances opportunities for women to actively participate in public advocacy, market and political processes. In providing the requisite skills, knowledge and culturally-sensitive support, WCI develops leaders who transform the lives of everyone they serve.
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