The sixth edition of the Women’s Economic Forum was sponsored by His Highness Prince of Eastern region
Wise leadership views women as an indispensable human wealth
His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, sponsored, via video call from his office at the emirate’s court, today (Wednesday) the sixth edition of the Women’s Economic Forum, which is being held under the title “Empowerment and Ambition,” with wide participation of officials and experts from the Kingdom and the Gulf countries.
At the outset of his speech, His Highness praised the empowerment decisions approved by the leadership to support women from the inception of the Kingdom until the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - may God preserve him - who witnessed in his prosperous era a number of important decisions in this, indicating that women are an indispensable human wealth, and they are a principal partner In the process of development, and it has a lot to offer to society, and the state has prepared a number of supportive initiatives and programs, indicating that the Kingdom is full of promising opportunities, and seizing them requires complementary action that stems from a deep belief that national energies are capable of making change, investing all opportunities, removing obstacles and obstacles that Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs object, stressing that the recent summit of Twenty is a testament to the vast opportunities in the Kingdom, and it is everyone's duty to take advantage of this and draw inspiration from successful experiences, work for the growth and prosperity of our country, invest all energies, consolidate the gains that have been made, and go towards horizons. New to achieve the vision of the Kingdom and its executive programs, concluding that the forum relies on it to come up with fundamental recommendations that serve businesswomen and transfer women's participation in the business sector to broader horizons. And it contributes to building a unique experience for women in this sector.
Gulf women ... a permanent presence and continuous giving
In her turn, Her Excellency the Minister of Community Development in the United Arab Emirates / Hessa bint Issa Bu Hamid said that everyone is aware of the depth of fraternal relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that we are proud and honored, as we are bound by ancient historical ties, reinforced by ties of blood, heritage and a common destiny The leaderships of the two countries are keen to consolidate these relations and infuse them in the memory of successive generations.
She added, "We are meeting today, a few days after the virtual G20 leaders summit, hosted by the Kingdom with confidence, the forward-looking vision for the world’s future, chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, may God protect him, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, participated in it. The State is the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, may God protect him. The "G20" is the largest global economic platform and is attended by all major international organizations, where the world unites around it to confront and overcome common challenges, and it is proof of the leadership of the global development role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of the United Arab Emirates As they always share the advance and will to support all joint international initiatives, policies and projects that guarantee building a sustainable future for future generations.
Her Excellency praised the Kingdom's continuous support for women, which was reflected in the level of their presence locally and internationally, saying: “We value and appreciate the Kingdom and its leadership, its wise and sound vision, and its continuous and increasing support for Saudi women, which prove every day their presence and distinction in various areas of development. The vision of the Kingdom’s leadership, may God protect it, can make a difference in the lives of Saudi, Gulf, and Arab women in general, leading to achievements that enhance the presence of women, support family stability, and achieve greater success for society within the framework of the economic and developmental presence of women on the largest scale.
On the reality of women in the United Arab Emirates, she said: “The United Arab Emirates, the sister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is living an exceptional reality by empowering women and investing their gifts in the home and family, work and production. The role of men is important, and of course, it is not surpassed by it .. both of them walk side by side on the path of sustainable development .. and whoever follows the path will arrive. "
Continuous successes for Saudi women
For his part, Chairman of the Asharqia Chamber, Abdul Hakim bin Hamad Al-Ammar Al-Khaldi, said: “Our country has witnessed an integrated series of reforms and development towards a promising future for Saudi women, following in the footsteps of the founder - may God have mercy on him - right up to the era of my master, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his trustworthy Crown Prince - may God protect them. - In which Saudi women have received a lot of attention, care, and appreciation, which contributed to enhancing their position and assuming a place worthy of them and their capabilities in various fields, and to achieve successes at the national and international levels, and confirm their role in accelerating the steps towards achieving the goals and aspirations of the vision .. noting the great success that The Kingdom achieved this achievement in hosting the largest annual summit of the leaders of the world's largest economies and influencing the international scene, and the empowerment of women was one of its main axes. Al-Khalidi pointed out that the Kingdom's 2030 vision allowed women to fully participate in the labor market, and proceeded to develop their talents and invest their energies and enabled them to obtain The appropriate opportunities to build its future and contribute to the development of its society and the economy of its country, and focused on giving it a large share of empowerment and equity to enhance its role All levels.
For Saudi women and equal opportunities
As for the member of the Board of Directors of the Asharqia Chamber, Nouf Bint Abdulaziz Al-Turki, she referred to the speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening of the G20 summit chaired by the Kingdom, which placed women's empowerment initiatives among its priorities, as God preserving him stressed the need to work to provide opportunities for all, especially For women and youth to enhance their role in society and the labor market, through education, training, job creation, support for entrepreneurs, enhancing financial inclusion, and bridging digital gaps between individuals. Emphasizing that this is the main goal of the (Women Economic Forum 2020), which has been organized by the Asharqia Chamber since 2008, and Al-Turki added that the slogan of the forum this year is (empowerment and ambition), it came to emphasize the achievements and gains that Saudi women have enjoyed in this auspicious era until the proportions of Their participation in the labor market ranges from 17% to 31% .. explaining that the Kingdom is following a clear vision of contours and steps, and has set up a set of economic and social programs to promote equal opportunities for the sexes and support inclusion in the labor market, financial and technical inclusion and in entrepreneurship. Consecutive achievements and successive gains, the last of which was her participation in distinguished positions in the Saudi Secretariat of the G20 and the working groups participating in the summit that concluded days ago, and here she is actively participating in various sectors from education and sports to the judiciary and the military sectors to reach positions and higher leadership positions.
The first session: Gulf officials and experts praise the experience of empowering Saudi women
In the first session of the sixth edition of the Saudi Women Forum, which was moderated by the broadcaster at Al Arabiya channel, Khaled bin Ahmed Madkhali, and titled (Leaders ’appreciation of the importance of the role of women economically and socially and plans to empower them), the Minister of Community Development in the United Arab Emirates, Her Excellency Hessa Bint Issa Bu Hamid, that women at the Gulf level are witnessing great empowerment at all political, economic and social levels, and that this empowerment in particular that Saudi women are experiencing promises to leave a luminous imprint in the records of the revival of their homeland, indicating the importance of the role of women economically and socially and the need to develop appropriate plans to empower them, as women are half of society And its energy is a catalyst for all society.
Achieving gender balance
Buhumaid referred to the Emirati experience in empowering women, saying that it was an experience that went beyond the stage of searching for solutions to eliminate discrimination between men and women, to the stage of actually achieving gender balance, to the stage of empowerment and beyond, stressing that this was achieved in light of a legislative environment that provides women with participation. And influence and achievement in all job opportunities and economic activities, based on the criteria of competence, competition, and excellence only ... and that is what is determined and approved by the Emirates Council for Gender Balance.
Buhumaid went on to say that this fact is shown by many decisions, such as a decision that women constitute 50% of the members of the Federal National Council in the UAE, and a decision to allocate 9 ministerial positions within the Cabinet currently for women, equivalent to one-third of the members of the Council of Ministers.
Efforts of Emirati institutions.
Buhumaid pointed to the efforts of the UAE government institutions to empower women, noting that more than 66% is the share of Emirati women in government sector jobs and that today they occupy 33% in senior leadership positions related to decision-making at the state level, and 8 ambassadors are representing the UAE. Abroad, and 42 Emirati women in the diplomatic corps in the missions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and about 7 women out of the total of 10 diplomats in the UAE mission to the United Nations, and females constitute 32% of the total applicants for the Emirates Astronaut Program in its second phase, i.e. a total of 1,400 Emirati girls, and it opens the door to new expectations and aspirations for the daughter of the UAE to be the first Arab astronaut soon.
For her part, the President of Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University, Prof. Enas bint Suleiman Al-Issa, on the empowerment of Saudi women, and what they reached during the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince of the Secretary in the framework of reaching the goals of the 2030 vision AD, saying that we are now living in the golden age in light of the vision that I considered the largest historical turning point aimed at raising awareness of the importance of women's work, training and leadership guidance For female cadres, empowering women in the civil service, and women nationalization in general.
Continuous increase in various sectors.
Al-Issa pointed out that the percentage of females is constantly increasing in various sectors, such as Saudi schools, in which the percentage of females has now reached about 54%, and that the percentage of female graduates from universities annually is about 57%, and it has reached 45%. And 43% of the scholarship students are females, as well as what Saudi women have achieved in the health sector. As the number of Saudi female workers in the health sector became about 39.4%, and also what they achieved at the level of the labor market, the rate of Saudi women's participation in the labor market rose in 2019 to about 23% and the highest growth rate in the G20 countries by 7%. Saudi women entrepreneurs to 31.6%, with a growth rate of 47%.
Bashayer bint Youssef Al-Majed, assistant professor of law at the Faculty of Law at Kuwait University, said that she is proud of what Saudi Arabia is witnessing of the pathways for Saudi women's empowerment and that promoting Saudi women's empowerment affects positive empowerment paths in all Gulf countries, especially Kuwait, noting To the Kuwaiti experience in empowering women, saying: It is a decades-long experience that approved the Kuwaiti constitution in 1961 through Article 7 that called for equality, and that in 2006 women obtained their political rights, and that the state is trying concerning women in line with the principles of human rights. That women are an integral part of human rights principles.
Al-Majed said that in light of the decline that Kuwaiti women have witnessed in terms of political participation, which is because women by their nature vote for affiliation, whether geographically, regionally, family or heart, so women are like men in the political participation process where voting for the fittest, regardless of gender, is male or female. There is great progress and achievement to be counted on for Kuwaiti women to reach the judiciary by installing the first female judge in Kuwait.
The second session
Vice Dean for Empowerment of Women: The National Policy System for Non-discrimination Soon
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development for the Empowerment of Women, Hind bint Khalid Al Zahid, confirmed the imminent issuance of the National Policy for Non-Discrimination, which guarantees more equality and protection for women and other discrimination that hinders the development of societies.
During the second session of the Women’s Economic Forum 2020, which was moderated by the Vice President of the Businesswomen’s Council at the Asharqia Chamber, Dina bint Abdullah Al-Faris, Zahid said that the new national policy will be implemented through inspectors.
Al-Zahid indicated that the wise leadership, to support and empower women, worked to renew the legislative and regulatory environment for women's work, so that it became greater than hoped, and we in the ministry and through our strategy work on several axes linked to different programs that measure the level of performance in the issue of empowering women, pointing to The reality is still in the growth stage and we need some qualified cadres, but at the same time, we have ready cadres and need only legislation that qualifies them to work.
Zahid said that women do not need training, as they possess the knowledge and skill and need only to have faith in them and their capabilities, in addition to their involvement in work to obtain good training on the job, explaining that the agency is working to update legislation and explore the gender gap, to reach an inclusive environment that achieves reach Women to leadership positions.
For her part, the CEO of Samba Financial Group, Rania Bint Mahmoud Nashar, confirmed that several initiatives launched by the state, may God protect her, have given women a real opportunity to engage in the field of work and creativity in it, and you have issued incentives and controls to provide nurseries for childcare and the anti-harassment system, which encouraged the private sector To support their work team with female cadres.
Nashar said that scientific competence and skill are the main factors that ensure the presence of women in the field of work.
Nashar pointed out that the rate of women's participation in the G20 summit, which was held hypothetically recently under the leadership of the Kingdom, reached 33.8 percent, which is the highest in the history of the G20, and this move would not have been recorded had it not been for the leadership's support for the issue of empowering women.
Nashar pointed to several challenges that women face within private sector companies and institutions despite the existence of a system and paths that support the female cadre, saying that women need to increase confidence in themselves and their abilities and put them on paths that qualify them for the launch towards leadership positions.
Vice President of Human Resources at Saudi Aramco, Nabil bin Khalid Al-Dabal, said that the company has a long history of providing support to women by empowering them and providing programs that aim to develop their skills and develop their capabilities to achieve better results in the field of work alongside men, stressing that the company has about 250 petroleum engineers. Saudi Arabia is one of the best female engineers in the world and the number is increasing.
Al-Dabal said that the company is continuing to send female employees to the best training programs in the world, whether inside or outside the Kingdom, to work to prepare them to assume global leadership positions, and we have female colleagues who hold leadership positions in our companies around the world.
And Al-Dabal stated that the company, through its support for women empowerment programs, adopt tools that explore female personalities who possess leadership qualities according to specific standards and metrics present within the various departments in the company in preparation for refining their talents and characteristics and preparing them after enrolling in the training programs to hold senior positions.
For her part, partner at KPMG Al-Fawzan and Partners, Kholoud Bint Adnan Musa, said that international studies indicate that the presence of women in the board of directors will give innovative solutions to the problems and challenges faced by boards of directors, pointing out that women have the expertise and skills that boards of directors need.
In the third session
Advocacy to improve the quality of life through culture, entertainment, and tourism
In the third session entitled "Quality of Life Programs 2020 and their Economic Effects on Women", moderated by a member of the Board of Directors of the Asharqia Chamber Al-Anoud Bint Tawfiq Al-Ramah, in which the Executive Vice President and Director of the Strategy Sector in the Quality of Life Program, Eng. Meshaal Al-Rasheed, and Head of the National Partnerships and Development Sector At the Ministry of Culture Noha Bint Saeed Qattan, Executive Director of Strategy and Vision Realization Office at the General Entertainment Authority Ali bin Muhammad Al-Omari, Executive Director of the Business Sector at the Tourism Development Fund and Wahdan bin Sulaiman Al-Qadi, and Head of Governance, Risks, and Compliance at The Red Sea Development Company - one of the investment fund projects General Dr. Maryam Bint Ali Fecchlo.
Meshaal Al-Rasheed said that the quality of life program is a different concept around it globally, and international indicators see that quality includes everything in life, from the social system, culture, health, education, etc., and we have many promising sectors related to the quality of life, such as culture in its broad sense, entertainment, tourism, and recreation. And sports, and we are looking for the private sector to invest more in these events, and we are looking for innovative and pioneering elements in areas related to the quality of life, as it is decided to increase the number of entertainment places and increase activities, and we find that the best way to help us to achieve this is to open investment fields, through which these are achieved Results.
As for Al-Omari, he stressed that entertainment is a necessity because it is one of the requirements for the development of societies and provides economic and social outputs and investment opportunities that represent a need for any society, and we find that the Kingdom is eligible for more projects in this aspect, and we look forward to spreading a high-level community culture in this regard. There are 20 fields related to entertainment and tourism, and we are looking forward to developing the human cadre working in these fields, and to transform them into promising investment sectors.
As for Wahdan Al-Qadi, she talked about legislation and initiatives to support tourism, stressing in this regard the keenness to create opportunities and tourist areas that support each other, and work to facilitate procedures, and our goal in that is to attract more domestic and foreign tourists, and raise the level of tourism in the domestic product from 3% to 10% Among the initiatives is the launch of the Tourism Development Board and the Tourism Development Fund, both of which support this trend.
Fourth session: Everyone must start implementing the recommendations of the G20 to achieve development
In the fourth session entitled "Women and Business at the Twenty Summit", the Program Director at the Al Nahda Women's Charitable Society and Sherpa spoke about the Saudi Women’s Communication Group W20 Salma Bint Rashid Al-Rashed about the importance of achieving an impact on Saudi women, as we were keen to reflect what we discussed in our meetings with the group. Business in the world continues to develop the potential of women and work to empower them.
Al-Rashed said during the session moderated by a member of the board of directors of the Asharqia Chamber, Nouf bint Abdulaziz Al-Turki, that we in the communication group held a series of national dialogues within the Kingdom in which we participated in the civil society and the private sector in different regions and in which 100 specialists and specialists participated, as well as 700 interested and interested parties.
Al-Rashed indicated that these dialogues came out with recommendations on the axes discussed by the Group of Twenty, but from a Saudi perspective that is in line with the Kingdom's vision 2030 and is moving towards achieving the sustainable development goals.
Al-Rashed said: We hope companies and entities will take the recommendations of the G20 and turn them into national plans, noting that everyone must work to achieve these recommendations on the ground, whether it is companies, civil society or the person himself, and they can start by asking how I can implement the recommendations To achieve development and raise the level of empowerment.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Federation and Sherpa, the Saudi Business Continuity Group B20, Dr. Abdul Wahab bin Abdul Razzaq Al-Saadoun, said that the G20 came up with recommendations for applicable policies following the main axes of empowering people and raising the challenges that hinder the steps of women moving towards leadership positions, and bridging the gap Digital, indicating some challenges facing the female business sector. In the case of women’s ownership of companies and institutions, studies have shown that the percentage of women’s ownership of enterprises reaches 28 percent, which is weak compared to men. Besides, 750 female entrepreneurs suffer from the treatment of financial institutions that do not take their requests seriously. It adopts its request for funding concerning men, and this is what makes it necessary for us to work to address these problems, as the gap is still in favor of men, pointing out that it takes 257 years to reach a situation in which there is equal opportunity and wages if we do not start work from now.