Arab Women Forum to be held in KSA in partnership with Arab News
LONDON: Top female executives and business leaders are set to discuss the changing role of Arab women in the Middle East at a new event being launched in Saudi Arabia next month.
The Arab Women Forum is to take place on April 10 and will form part of the annual “Top CEO” awards event organized by the Dubai-based publisher Mediaquest.
Arab News is partnering with the inaugural women-focused forum, which is held at a time of significant social change in the Kingdom, including the move to allow women to drive.
“Given the raft of reforms underway in Saudi Arabia, there could not be a more appropriate and meaningful time to host such an event,” said Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News.
“Arab News has been taking a leading role in both reporting on the changes underway in the Kingdom and pointing out the clear need for women to play key roles in Saudi society, and the many challenges ahead.
“This conference aims to take this conversation forward — for the benefit of both Saudi Arabia’s female workforce and the wider society as a whole.”
Julien Hawari, co-CEO of Mediaquest, welcomed the partnership with Arab News in hosting the inaugural Arab Women Forum.
“At a crossroad, the GCC and Saudi Arabia are going through a paradigm shift. The consequences of this fundamental transformation are many and are accelerating, resulting in profound economic change and the empowerment of women,” he said.
“This is transforming businesses and society. It was a natural fit for Mediaquest to host the women empowerment conference in Saudi Arabia, as such a topic will impact the entire Gulf.
“Arab News stands at the forefront of dynamic change in Saudi Arabia, so we are, naturally, very pleased to have Arab News as a partner in the Arab Women Forum.”
The launch of the event reflects the reforms seen in Saudi Arabia over the last year that have granted greater freedoms to Saudi women. Last September, women were given the right to drive, with the decree coming into force this June.
In January, women were allowed for the first time to attend football matches in Saudi Arabia.
The changes form part of a wider reform program spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the economy and drive growth in the country.
Topics set to be discussed at the event include how to empower women entrepreneurs, such as improving access to credit needed to start businesses. The representation of Arab women in regional politics and in corporate boardrooms will also be debated.
Some of the confirmed speakers so far include Ambareen Musa, CEO and founder of the UAE-based price comparison website, Souqalmal; Dr. Maliha Hashmi, executive director of the Red Sea Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the development of the Red Sea as a driver of economic growth, and Dr. Lama Al-Sulaiman, vice chair and board member of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Source: Saudi Arabia
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