I am writing today from Amman Jordan where I have been attending The first East West & Africa ‘Women as Elements of Change’ Conference. Hosted by Her Royal Highness Princess Taghrid and the General Director of The Princess Taghrid Institute, Dr. Aghadeer Jewihan.
Our sister organization, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship, is proud to be an educational partner to this important initiative.
The vision of the East West & Africa Women’s Initiative is to increase the consciousness and acceptance of women from all backgrounds, classes and cultures. The forum seeks to provide a prospective future for women all over the world, and aims at empowering women with the realization that they can act as powerful elements of change in their societies.
“I was able to become an element of change through my education in various areas of knowledge and life skills, ” said Dr. Aghadeer Jewihan, General Director of Princess Taghrid’s Institute. ” My personal belief is that education is an ongoing process that should never be neglected, as it is the key to an enriching life.
I was fortunate to obtain various degrees starting with my BA in Law which gave me legisative and administrative skills. I then furthered my education with a Masters in Women’s Studies which opened my eyes to critical social and psychological issues. Finally, to study these issues in depth, I acquired a Ph.D in Education and Socialization. My passion for eduction did not stop there. After obtaining my Ph.D I continued to learn important life skills including: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, life coaching, color therapy, training of trainers and more. Miracles are possible through love, passion and positivity. Education in an enhancement to these elements, which makes what we strive for accessible.”
Increasingly it is understood that when girls and women are healthy, educated, and fully integrated into their societies and economies, their countries flourish. Yet today, women are still twice as likely as men to be illiterate, gender-based violence remains persistent and widespread, and approximately 800 women worldwide die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Targeted investments focused on expanding access to high-quality health care and education for girls and women can work to overcome these continued challenges, resulting in longer life expectancies, increased economic participation, and fuller social and political agency.
Educating women and girls is an important part of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan core concerns. “As you educate a woman, you educate the family. If you educate the girls, you educate the future.” And according to Former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Investing in women and girls has the potential to stabilize societies.” Women, peace and security have been important issues for Former Secretary of State, which she discusses with Queen Rania, Melinda Gates, Gates Foundation and Muhammad Yunus in this important conversation at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.
IAE is excited to begin our work with women and girls in Jordan. Here are 12 other initiatives working to empower women in the Middle East:
- Roudha Center is a one-stop-shop for women entrepreneurs in Qatar that is focused on fueling the economy through entrepreneurship and providing a holistic approach to equipping women with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed.
- Women’s Digital League is a women-owned digital services firm that economically empowers Pakistani women- even in the most remote areas of the country- without them having to leave their homes.
- Glowork is a Saudi-based social enterprise that aims to drive women’s participation in the Saudi workforce. The first portal dedicated to female recruitment in the GCC has already placed 3,000 women in the workplace and found work-from-home employment for another 500. SAS Holding recently invested around $16 million in Glowork, which will help scale its model across the Arab world.
- Women in Technology (WIT) is a Beirut-based organization that acts as a platform to empower professional women by encouraging them to use ICT to enhance their exchange of ideas and information.
- Trochet – which is a combination of the word “trash” and “crochet” is upcycling women out of poverty. The project gathers recycled plastic bags and sends them to low-income women to knit or crochet into creative designs and products like coasters, bean-bag chairs, or even new bags. The proceeds from the products support the women.
- Artistry Egypt, which was a semi-finalist at the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Business Plan Competition last year, provides artisan training to low-income communities. Artistry Egypt trains female youth to make handmade carpets and high quality eco-friendly textiles.
- Ruwwad is a community empowerment organization founded by a group of entrepreneurs to help disadvantaged communities overcome marginalization. Ruwwad’s women empowerment program operates in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine, providing women with education, income generation and social justice.
- How Women Work in Qatar empowers women to grow and succeed while breaking down barriers and promoting understanding between cultures and genders through conferences that create a sense of community and belonging.
- Diva Events & Media aims to empower Bahraini women, by marketing their products, and positioning them as local and international leaders.
- Tomorrow’s Youth Organization – with support from the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and other leading organizations in Nablus and Lebanon – provides women with customized entrepreneurship programs focusing on skills and personal development. In cooperation with the PalTel Group Foundation, they also offer Women’s Incubation Services for Entrepreneurs (WISE).
- Sitat Byoot which means “Women of the Home” is an online portal that provides socially disadvantaged women in Jordan with the opportunity to sell handmade goods ranging from gold-accented abayas to wicker baskets. The social enterprise provides training in sales and online marketing to the women and offers them incentives as well.
- Wamda for Women: in addition to featuring women entrepreneurs on its portal, W4Women organizes a roadshow of two-hour roundtable discussions across several Arab cities, to debate the challenges that women entrepreneurs face, focusing on how women can lead the way in supporting each other and effecting change.
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