DWE’s Second Arab Women Leadership Forum to highlight new conceptions of work-life balance

Published November 12th, 2009 - 09:53 GMT

The Second Arab Women Leadership Forum, the Dubai Women Establishment’s (DWE) flagship annual forum, is scheduled to take place on January 12-13, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai.

The theme of the forum, “Women’s leadership in organizations: Towards new conceptions of work-life balance,” focuses on issues that have a crucial bearing on the attainment of two key DWE objectives – enhancing the role of Emarati women within the UAE’s social and economic landscape, and nurturing women leaders .
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the two-day Forum will offer participants a unique opportunity to engage in a series of compelling debates and panel discussions, as well as to network and participate in discussions with distinguished speakers and leading intellectuals. The forum will be led by Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of H.H Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

“The Arab Women Leadership Forum provides a platform to address relevant issues and reinforce the vital contribution of Arab women leaders; this is made possible through a collective ownership of leadership development to expand the role and perception of Arab women.  This requires navigating the complex territory of society’s expectations, gender stereotypes and intellectual perspectives as well as consistent efforts towards innovative thought and persistence in the face of all challenges inherent in achieving a balance between work and family life. The high caliber of participation received by the first edition of the Forum is expected to be duplicated in the upcoming second installment, enabling the understanding of issues that affect the daily lives of women and their roles within their families and in the workplace,” says HH Sheikha Manal.

The inaugural edition of the forum, held earlier this year, saw a group of influential Speakers deliberate topics relating to women and leadership, and was attended by over 500 women.

Her Highness Sheikha Manal continued by adding that the second edition of the forum is expected to further the UAE’s agenda of ensuring the advancement of UAE women to complement the fast-paced development of the country. This year’s theme has particular relevance to regional conditions. “In a region where the institution of the family continues to pivot around the role of a woman as a mother, wife, home-maker and nurturer, the ability to achieve a successful work-life balance is the key to women’s success in the professional sphere, and in attaining positions of leadership while protecting the fabric of Arab culture,” says HH Sheikha Manal.

“The Second Arab Women Leadership Forum will explore the significant issues relating to work-life balance, such as women-friendly work policies and gender equality laws, from the perspective of legislators and policy makers across the region and internationally. The forum will also examine more nuanced topics, such as the strategies men use to attain an equilibrium between work and home life, and access to adequate child-care and its impact on  reintegration of mothers into the workforce. By taking a holistic view on a topic of vital importance, we hope the outcomes and recommendations that emerge from this forum will add to the body of literature available on this topic, and ultimately in understanding the factors that enable women to achieve a healthier work-life balance and success in the professional sphere – factors that have local, regional and global resonance,” concluded HH Sheikha Manal.

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