This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the International Women’s Day in Copenhagen in 1910 “to promote women’s rights and build support for universal suffrage”. Women in the west have come a long way since then, from struggling for the right to vote to assuming leadership positions in government, society, culture and the arts, sports, and every other walk of life.
In the Arab world, the progress of women has been much slower and fraught with many difficulties and challenges. But even though their role remains fairly limited compared with the west, the last two decades or so have seen what can only be described as a growing invasion of Arab women to virtually every field and activity, even in the traditionally more conservative countries.
In this auspicious and promising environment, the New Arab Woman Forum (NAWF) will continue its close follow-up and analysis of the changing position and role of women in Arab society, politics, and economic life at its fourth annual meeting (NAWF 2010) which will take place on December 2 and 3, 2010 under the high patronage of the First Lady of Lebanon Mrs. Wafaa Michel Sleiman, and in the presence of the Honorary President H.E. Mrs Bahia Hariri. This edition of the forum promises to be, as in the past three years, the leading and most relevant women’s event in the region.
Following the pattern of previous years, and under the main heading of leadership and social responsibility, NAWF 2010 will dedicate the first day to a discussion of issues related to the developing role of women in politics, business and society generally with special emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of the quota system as a way to increase Arab women’s political participation, as well as the role of social media in advancing women’s causes, and issues of corporate social responsibility. The first day will also include parallel workshops on Social Entrepreneurship and Governance in Family Business. The second day will then turn to more juicy and controversial issues related to cinema, theater, fashion, media and other areas.
Accordingly, some of the main headlines of NAWF 2010 are:
- The implementation process of the quota system
- Quotas and competency: Legal issues
- The development of social media
- Application of corporate social responsibility principles
- What does “fashion of the body” mean for women everywhere, and is it working for or against their cause?
- How has the invasion of Arab women of the media, cinema and the theater succeeded in changing perspectives on Arab women and their hopes for empowerment?
NAWF 2010 is organized by Al- Iktissad Wal- Aamal Group and Al Hasnaa Magazine and in cooperation with the League of Arab States. For the fourth year in a row, NAWF will bring together a distinguished group of speakers and participants from both genders from the Arab world and internationally, including first ladies, government ministers and public officials, business leaders, social scientists, writers and journalists, artists and actresses, heads of NGOs and other social institutions, and other personalities and activists.