November 27th, 2017, Sharjah (UAE): The NAMA Women Advancement Establishment has announced that the first edition of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS), organised in collaboration with UN Women, will bring together 70 key speakers, including senior figures, ministers, heads of local and international organisations, global experts and entrepreneurs, who will discuss the current challenges and opportunities available to women across various economic sectors.
The two-day summit, taking place on December 4-5 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, is an ultra-high-profile global event organised by NAMA in line with its commitment to promoting women’s status economically and professionally and expanding their involvement in all walks of life on an equal footing with their male counterparts.
Speakers will engage in 20 panel discussions as well as sector-specific and interactive sessions covering their future visions for the economic empowerment of women in front of more than 1,000 participants.
The first edition of WEEGS will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment and Honorary Patron for Global Women’s Inclusion, to achieve the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
The impressive lineup includes a number of UAE ministers and senior officials, namely, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance; Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Hessa bint Eisa Bu Humaid, Minister of Community Development; Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, President of Zayed University; Khawla Al Mulla, Chairperson of Sharjah Consultative Council; and Abdullah Al Saleh, UAE Ministry of Economy Undersecretary of Foreign Trade and Industry.
The speakers also include officials in charge of Arab and international organisations, most notably Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Anne Githuku Shongwe, Representative, UN Women South Africa; Ambassador Inas Makkawi, Head of the Women, Family and Childhood Department at the Arab League; Dr Amany Asfour, President of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women; Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises; and Purna Sen, Director of Policy Division at UN.
Also participating in the summit is an impressive galaxy of prestigious local figures and entrepreneurs, who have been actively involved in the issues of economy and women’s empowerment. They include Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA; Noor Al Nooman, Director of Sharjah Department of eGovernment; Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology; Bader Al Olama, Board Chairman of Strata Manufacturing; Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, General Manager of Maqta Gateway; and Abdul Latif Al Sayegh, Founder and CEO of Al Sayegh Media.
The list of globally renowned figures continues with Mohamed Samir, President of India, Middle East and Africa Selling and Market Operation at Procter & Gamble; Fida Taher, Founder of ‘Women in Business Arabia’; Mariam Farag, Director of CSR at MBC Group; Javette Hines, Director of Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability at Citi Bank; and Abdullah Adan, Head of Consumer and Retail Banking at Gulf African Bank, Kenya.
Adding even more influence and significance to the event will be Anu Bhardwaj, Founder of ‘Women Investing in Women Digital’; Sandy Tantra, Search & Brand Marketing Manager at Google Asia Pacific; Bel Pesce, Founder of FazINOVA Innovation and Entrepreneurship School; Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Founder and CEO of the International Coordinator of the Global Network of Women Peace builders; Catherine Bormann, Head of the Department of Education and Digital World at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Lina Sabaitienė, Lithuania’s Vice-Minister of Economy; and Shaloo Garg, Head of Global Innovation and Startup Ecosystem at Oracle.
Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, said: “The WEE Global Summit offers a leading international platform for experts and officials from across the globe to discuss key issues related to women’s empowerment and explore ways to promote their roles in various sectors, helping to drive greater participation in the economy.”
She added: “Statistics by the International Labour Organisation show that Arab women’s participation in the workforce is as low as 25%, clearly showing how important it is to invest in this highly talented, highly capable, untapped human capital and how much it could add to the entire national economy.
“Speakers at the summit will share their experience in business sectors, management and legislation to strengthen efforts to empower women economically, especially women entrepreneurs and owners of small enterprises. I think the insights, advice and ideas that result from this coming together of such outstanding speakers will have a significant impact on mindsets as well as actionable plans.”
In the run up to the UAE’s first WEEGS, NAMA called on all business and community sectors to pledge a commitment to action for women’s economic empowerment. The two-day summit will encompass seven panel discussions featuring an array of experts from the UAE and across the world who will address the possible ways to enhance women’s contribution to sustainable development.
The first-of-its-kind event will also include six sector-specific sessions highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of women empowerment, with the participation of a host of acclaimed individuals, companies and local and international organisations. The six sessions will cover 16 sectors, including energy, sustainability, city planning, transport and logistics, health and media, with insights into potential business opportunities.
As well as a number of workshops, the event will also include two interactive improvised sessions with the participation of a host of prominent local and international entrepreneurs who will share their personal experiences in entrepreneurship and provide tips on how to achieve success.