The AUE International Majlis for Women, a pioneering initiative which aims to empower women and help them progress into future leadership roles, has earned high praise from leading figures in the UAE.
The inaugural session of the Majlis saw guest speakers discussing trends, objectives, strategy and challengers that they might encounter in implementing the mission to encourage new thinking around a variety of subjects and women’s issues.
Professor Muthanna Abdul Razzaq, President and CEO of the American University in the Emirates, who is the founder and driving force of the forum said in his keynote address: “We have about 1,153 women students studying in the AUE and about 120 women faculty.”
“Given this background, I found that women in our region have many challenges so I proposed to establish this Majlis.”
“We have the consent of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, to establish this Majlis and there is a proposal that it will be chaired by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“Our target is the world, not just Dubai. Let us start here but we need women to lead, they are 50 per cent of our society,” he added.
“We have many creative women leaders in this country, like Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, the first female Speaker of the Federal National Council, so I wish this forum every success.
Francisca Elizabeth Mendez Escobar, Mexico’s Ambassador to the UAE, in her speech said that the Majlis was one of ‘the best ways to empower women and create a framework within which a lot can be accomplished and achieved.
“It’s not only about women, it is about the whole society. Cultural vision must change and education for the new generation should be top of the agenda. We also need to work together, all the countries in the world, if we want to make a success of it.”
Alia Al Muhairi, an Airbus A380 Captain from Emirates said: “We have to start with what is our need. There are lots of international initiatives when it comes to gender equality and to empowering women.
“Part of what this council should do is to learn. There should be some sort of knowledge transfer. We have to see what is being done on a global level and see what our needs in the region are.”
Other guest speakers included Jihad M’Nasria, the founder of Play4Smiles and winner of young Arab philanthropist award, Mariam al Afridi, Government Communications Director at the DED, Rabab Al Tajir, the first UAE car rally driver, Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, director general of Friends of Cancer Patients and Alissar Nasr, Chief Academic Officer AMCI.