Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder and Chairman of AIWF
The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), a non-profit global organisation linking Arab women and their international counterparts, is marking its 10th anniversary with a special programme, which includes a headline conference on new emerging economies and leaderships, a commemorative business dinner and a seminar dedicated to youth generations also on the agenda, Being held in London from May 11 – 13, 2011 the programme will recognise the AIWF ten successful years of advocacy with events that have been designed to reinforce AIWF’s achievements in enabling Arab women to advance in business, professional and public life.
The AIWF 10th Anniversary Commemorative Programme will be a springboard for AIWF for expanding the organisation’s advocacy work to a wider International level—promoting the impact women can have as engines of economic growth while engendering peace and prosperity in their communities. Their focus will be specifically on the challenges that women face within a global context and the critical role they should play in the development of their economies, while recognising their remarkable and ground-breaking achievements.
Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder and Chairman of AIWF, stated “We are delighted to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Arab International Women’s Forum, recognising and building on its achievements and looking forward to the opportunities for leading roles to which Arab women may aspire in the future. Now more than ever, successful Arab women have a fundamental role to play in the advancement of younger generations and women in emerging economies.”
The headline event for the three-day programme will take place on the 12th of May under the conference title of “Women in the Arab World, Africa and Asia: Emerging Economies, Emerging Leaderships, Shaping the Future Together”. Held at the internationally renowned Lancaster House in St James, London, the focus will be on expanding geographical outreach and creating new international dimensions for the examination of key issues between women in three of the world’s most dynamic emerging economies—the Arab world, Africa and Asia. The conference will gather together a high-ranking delegation of AIWF members and partners with distinguished guests from the diplomatic service, government sector, educational circles, private business community and senior media representatives.
Participants will examine how women, in the three vibrant emerging economies, may bring a new dimension and offer a difference in leadership and influence and fulfil their potential through political, academic and entrepreneurial empowerment within changing economies on an international scale. Discussions will also focus on maximising investment in youth populations and closing the gender gap through wider business, and educational opportunities.
The AIWF Anniversary Programme will begin on the 11th of May—the night before the headline conference—with an official business dinner hosted by The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Bear, at his residence, the Mansion House. Taking place in the heart of London’s business and financial capital, this significant event is an affirmation of AIWF’s mission in building bridges, building business and forming partnerships between the City of London, the Arab world and the international community. In addition to speeches on the AIWF overall theme for the year of “Building Bridges, Building Business: Emerging Economies, Emerging Leaderships” By The Lord Mayor and Haifa Al Kaylani, UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague and other distinguished guests include ambassadors, business figureheads, and civil service organisations from across the international community.
On the third and final day, the 13th May, directly linked into the AIWF Anniversary Programme is a key seminar dedicated specifically to younger generations being arranged in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers and hosted at their flagship new offices on the 13th of May, entitled “Emerging Arab Women Leaders – the voice of the future”. The aim is to encourage young professionals to enhance and optimise their contribution to society and business and help develop their leadership skills. Keynote speakers and potential mentors will help the delegates understand more about personal accountability and building confidence and through the sharing of experiences will also inspire the younger generation.
During the seminar, AIWF and their global partners will bring together the talented young people in their organisations that are seen as the emerging leaders for the future. The forum will be used to identify and begin a young professional network within AIWF. Participants will be able to listen, engage and contribute their thoughts directly through table groups and panel sessions.
The whole three day programme will be a further development of the themes of globalisation, sustainable human development, economic competitiveness, connectivity and innovation, which AIWF has addressed in its initiatives and has formed the backbone of AIWF’s work over the last several years.
“As we commemorate our first successful decade, AIWF continues to champion the advancement of gender equality and sustainable development in the Arab world through strategies that underline the power of partnership,” adds Al Kaylani. “In 2011, AIWF is renewing its steadfast commitment by bringing together those who have journeyed with us throughout our first decade of development, as well as new partners who share our desire to meet challenges of the future.”
Al Kaylani believes that the outcomes of these events will determine the direction of the AIWF mission over the next decade, providing an arena for exploring the future of advocacy policies and new strategies for women and youth to encourage mutual advancement in society.
The Arab region is at present experiencing momentous changes brought about by rising unemployment among young people and the growth of expectation with regard to the level of democratisation that exists within individual countries in the region. At this crossroads in the region’s development, AIWF’s message regarding the role of women in their societies is now more pertinent than ever. The inclusion of women in all decision –making is vital to meet the challenges currently faced within the Arab world if the region is to move to safe and prosperous societies where there is equality of opportunity for all and where all men and women of the region are working together as stakeholders within their communities and with global partners to maximise the potential of all for the benefit of all.