Leadership Council for Human Rights

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Achievements and Challenges for Arab Women

November 13, 2006 marked the beginning of the Arab Women’s Conference entitled “Six Years after the First Arab Women’s Conference: Achievement and Challenges”, the Khaleej Times reported. The three-day conference, held in Manama, Bahrain, focused on the relationship between economic development and women’s issues in the Arab world.

The conference, which included delegates from 17 Arab nations, as well as representatives from regional and international agencies, embarked upon a stronger women’s partnership throughout the Arab world.

In hopes of granting rights to all women in the Arab world, the conference addressed creating a skilled Arab workforce as well as the steps needed to provide women the opportunity for higher education. In her address, First Lady of Tunisia, Leila Ben Ali, offered strategic ideas to empower women, according to allAfrica.com. She believes that improvement of society is conditional on the improvement of women’s situation.

First Lady Ali presented realistic and tangible goals for Arab women. First, creating a legal observatory, in which the status of Arab women could be monitored. The observatory would act as catalyst for women-oriented legislation. This legal observatory would mirror the Code of Personal Status, a law passed in Tunisia that grants women their rights. Since its induction, over half of those enrolled in higher education have been women, and currently almost a third of the members of the Chamber of Duties and the municipal council in Tunisia are women. Additionally, First Lady Ali spoke of creating an International Arab prize for the best woman-led company among Arab countries that strive to ensure economic advancement.

The creation of tools such as these would allow for a tangible view of Arab women’s economic situation. Additionally, the legal observatory would engender further integration of men and women.

Other first ladies attending the conference were Egypt’s Suzanne Mubarak, Sudan’s Midad Babaker, and Lebanon’s Andrea Lahoud, amongst others.

For the Khaleej Times article click here.
For the allAfrica.com article click here.


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