On May 22nd, a conference for the Arab International Women’s Forum titled “Young Arab Women Leaders — The Voice of the Future” was held at Birzeit University, the first university to be established in Palestine. The Forum was a particularly momentous occasion because it marked the first time the annual forum had taken place in Palestine in the organization’s 11-year history.
In an opening address, the Forum’s founder Haifa Al Kaylani, discussed the opportunity that this year’s forum had to empower women and youth in Palestine to ensure sustainable development in the region.
The Forum, which began as an idea in London, has flourished throughout the world. Its Board of Directors is composed of names representing companies such as PepsiCo, PriceWaterhouseCooper, and the Arab British Chamber of Commerce.
Addressing these influential people, Al Kaylani noted the wealth of Palestinian expertise and talent at the conference, citing again that the education and training of the youth is a necessary investment. She also commented that such important leaderships ethics would help women “take roles as leaders and job creators working towards the social and economic recovery in their communities and the region.”
Recently, AIWF made strides to expand digitally with the launch of its online forum, co-sponsored by PepsiCo. The topic of the most recent online forum was: “What impact has the rapid growth of technology in the last decade made on gender boundaries – societally, in the home and in the workplace?” Interested parties were allowed to enter the debate from the convenience of their laptops.
– Samantha Mauney