SBWC participate in the Arab International Women’s Forum in Qatar

SHARJAH, 18th November, 2015 (WAM) — Representatives from Sharjah Business Women Council, SWBC, have participated in the “Young Arab Women Leaders: The Voice of the Future Conference” recently at the Qatar Business Incubation Centre in Doha, Qatar.
The event was organised by the Arab International Women’s Forum, AIWF, in partnership with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, the Qatar Businesswomen Forum, PwC and all of AIWF’s Global Partners, with the Qatar Business Incubation Centre as host partner.
Ameera BinKaram, Chairperson of SBWC, participated in a session called, “Exploring Initiatives and Opportunities for Collaboration between Women in Business: Transforming Barriers into Opportunities in Qatar”. The session explored challenges, prospects and success stories from throughout the MENA region that can boost women-owned SMEs.
As part of a panel discussion BinKaram spoke about the need for the public and private sectors to work together to ensure more women overcome obstacles to doing business in the MENA region, so that an improved entrepreneurial, political and social environment for women would follow. Also on the panel were Ms. Buthaina Al-Ansari, Senior Director and Senior HR Professional, and Hanan Al-Samari, Executive Director, Princess Madawi Fund for Women Development, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
BinKaram said, “Supporting women entrepreneurs and professionals as best we can is at the very heart of what SBWC aims to achieve. When women are empowered and supported they contribute to the region’s economy and dynamic commercial ecosystem which brings multiple benefits for all sectors of society.”
Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman of the Arab International Women’s Forum, said that an area which must be addressed is the 25 percent youth unemployment that will need 100 million jobs to fill the unemployment gap.
She said, “More Arab women are graduating than men but in the UAE we have only 49 percent women engagement in the workplace while in Qatar it’s 51 percent. This number varies across GCC countries but the point is that gender inequality is dragging down growth in both developed and emerging economies and wage inequality is also negatively impacting the economy as women earn on average 24 percent less than men. This disparity hinders economic growth, demotivates women’s participation and prevents societal progress.”