United Nations International Women Day 2018

Role of women in peace and development

One Day International Conference
Thursday 8th March 2018 from 09:30 to 14:30
University Square Stratford, University of East London, London, UK

As part of our celebration of “International Women’s day” which is celebrated across the world to show the remarkable achievements pf women to the society. The main aim of this one day conference is to critically examine the current status of women in the Arab region. Clearly, women have an untapped potential as a primary mover of greater development within the region and their role in the region is very crucial for increased development, but challenges remain. And so, reforms in economic, social, and political institutions must be made to create an enabling environment for women participation and empowerment.

PROGRAM more to be confirmed

Chair: Jessica Lumley, Programme Manager Geopolitics and International Relations, London Centre of International Law Practice, UK

09:30-10:00  Arrival refreshments/Networking

10:00-12:00    Session One 

Muslim women’s property rights: human rights, peace and development
Siraj Sait, Director Centre for Islamic Finance Law and Communities (CIFLAC), University of East London, UK

Women role in social entrepreneurship
Siham El-Kafafi, Director of Research, ICL Business School, New Zealand

Together SAFE initiative for tolerance and social cohesion
Anji Ben Hamed, Director Entrepreneurship Centre, Ahlia University, Bahrain

Women’s participation in politics as a gateway to participation in development
Mona Abdelfattah, Researcher & Journalist, National University, Sudan

12:00-12:30    Lunch/Networking

12:30-14:30    Session Two 

The role of the Arab media in empowering women for development
Jadia Osman, TV Presenter/Producer, Al Ghad TV, UK

Hope for opportunity and Syrian youth refugees initiatives
Suaad Al Hammadi, Camp Ambassador to the Youth Assembly, United Nations, UAE

Women and diversity in international arbitration 
Funke Adekoya, Partner and Head of Disputes Resolution Practice Group at AELEX, Nigeria

Inspiration of women to Prof. Muhammad Younis
AbdelGadir WarsamaLegal Advisor and Professor of Law American University in Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain

Does digital technology raise gender inequality? evidence from literature review
Sonia AbdellatifResearcher, Technology Management, Economics, and Policy, Seoul National University, South Korea

Concluding remarks
Allam Ahmed, Director MEKEI and President WASD

Women’s welfare in the Arab region has steadily improved in the past few decades with gaps in education and health decreasing the gender disparity gap by 60%, Saudi Arabia for example was among those that improved its educational sub-index score by 11% points (WEF, 2016). Similarly, a report by Assad (El Swais, 2015) stated that girls in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region actually outperform boys especially in the maths and sciences. However, in spite of such progress, women in the region remain to be the most vulnerable to poverty because of unequal access to economic and other resources. For example, while 50% of the women in the world are actively employed or seeking jobs, only about half or 27% of women in the MENA are of the same status (World Bank, 2012 cited in OECD, 2014). Thus, it appears that investments in human development are not readily translated to better economic and political outcomes for women and that women’s potential and crucial role in development within the region is still impeded by social factors. Among the key constraints of women in the region for economic participation are: strong patriarchal society; strong public sector and a weak private sector; and lack of support and benefits for women in the employment sector (Assad cited in El Swais, 2015).