Why do we award Arab women?

It is critically important for the wider stability of the region and also the prosperity of our societies to understand the impact of interconnectedness, maintain an outward perspective, reposition the role of women, create new pathways for collaboration and foster knowledge exchange. The forces unleashed by the Arab uprisings made clear to decision makers across Europe and the Arab World that there’s is an urgent need to translate the unique momentum created into concrete positive outcomes for citizens by unleashing the huge growth potential of both regions.

Equality between men and women is a significant tool of economic growth and social cohesion. It constitutes a multi-dimensional factor: political, economic, social, developmental, all of these aspects dependent on each other. Recognizing equal opportunities for women, who constitute about half (or more) of the total population of every country, ensures not only a more representative participation of all members of society, but also advancement, progress, development.

Over the last decades we have witnessed a new generation of women redefining the notion of power through innovation and disruption. Beyond theory, there are women that are becoming the driving force for innovative thinking and change in Arab societies across different industries and fields.

Global Thinkers Forum 2014 “Arab Women as Changemakers: A Celebration of Achievements” is a high profile meeting that will showcase the capabilities of Arab Women as Leaders, promote better understanding of global trends and generate opportunities for growth, investment and international exposure. It will bring together leaders and representatives from businesses, governments and civil society with a goal to exchange knowledge, promote business and raise awareness around the success stories for women leaders who lead by example!


The global ascension of women to leadership positions in government, business and society has become more self-evident in recent decades but challenges remain. How are women making progress at achieving success and creating impact on the roles they choose to play?


There’s a lot of debate in the private sector about women breaking the glass ceiling and climbing up the hierarchy ladder into leadership positions. But what are the challenges and opportunities in global development? And what does it take to build and lead a business as either a founder entrepreneur or the chief executive? Is great leadership truly gender-blind, or do men and women possess distinct leadership traits that make a material difference to success? What can we learn from successful CEOs, leaders, innovators from the Arab World?


It would seem to make sense that businesses would invest in developing women as workers, executives, and leaders. But impressive results and sound logic have yet to fully take hold in many parts of the world, including the West (EU, USA). The advancement of women pales in proportion to their numbers. While some of the reasons are related to culture and custom, it is important to recognize that where organizations have invested in the development of women, the results have been both profound and dramatic. How can Women contribute to an economic level? What are the business drivers for achieving more gender diversity in the workplace? How can we foster female talent for innovation and creativity? Can we start an ‘Invest in Women’ campaign?


Women entrepreneurs represent a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity in the Arab World. At GTF 2014 we will focus on examining the relative successes of efforts aimed at leveling the playing field for women’s pursuit of economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and how we can pave the way for more opportunities for other women entrepreneurs.