Top businesswomen hail Qatar’s efforts in empowering women

April 23, 2012 - 10:24:03 pm


Businesswomen taking part in Unctad high-level event on Women in Development meeting yesterday. Salim Matramkot

DOHA: During a high-level event on women in development, convened yesterday at the thirteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad XIII), leading women from the business community in Qatar outlined the “enormous steps” taken by the country to address the issue.

Participants in the sessions included Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Costa Rica, and Mary Robinson, Founder, Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Speaking at a special session titled “Macro-economic policy: Does gender matter?”  Aisha Alfardan, Vice-Chairperson, Qatari Businesswomen Association, said: “His Highness the Emir of Qatar, with support from Qatar’s First Lady Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the nation has taken significant steps towards gender equality.”

Alfardan noted that the focus on “education, health and employment” for women complements Qatar’s strategic vision. She added: “Legislative amendments are ensuring the participation of women across all layers of the society.”

During a session on “Trade, poverty and gender: new insights from a contextual, country-specific approach”,  Buthaina Al Ansari, Board Member of Qatari Businesswomen Association, reiterated the emphasis on the development of women in Qatar’s strategic vision.

Al Ansari said: “Qatar is not following past patterns, we are on our way towards making women autonomous.” She highlighted: “Nearly 33 percent of Qatari women are now working at a decision-making level.” Speaking at “Equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome: How to translate women’s educational gains into equal access to full employment and decent work”, later in the day,  Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director, Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development, Qatar, said that “Women’s role is vital to both family and society.”

The Peninsula