Thu 25 May 2023 2:46 pm - Jerusalem Time
Businesswomen's Forum celebrates 15 years and launches its plan to empower Palestinian women economically 2023-2026
The Business Women Forum celebrated its 15th anniversary, as the forum launched its new strategy under the auspices and presence of the Prime Minister, Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, in the presence of the Governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh, Dr. Laila Ghannam and a number of ministers, in addition to the presence of high-level representation from official institutions, international and governmental institutions, and civil society institutions, and the event was held under the auspices of APEC.
Mrs. Shuaa Marar, Chair of the Forum, welcomed the attendees, stressing the pivotal role of the Forum in promoting the spirit and culture of entrepreneurship among women and encouraging them to develop their economic projects. Noting that the new strategy of the forum aims to enhance the presence and influence of women in the economic field and enhance their commercial capabilities. She said, "The strategy works to raise awareness of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, and to develop the capabilities and skills of women entrepreneurs through a series of programs, in addition to networking and communication locally and internationally, working on digital transformation, sustainability, and many others, which will contribute to building a diverse and vibrant Palestinian economy and create New job opportunities, reducing the unemployment rate among women, and enhancing their access to local and international markets.
Murar expressed her pride in the achievements of the Forum over the past years, stressing the commitment to continuous renewal and innovation, and the new strategy that strongly reflects this commitment and paves the way for moving forward for the better, and gives us the necessary tools to serve our women in more effective ways that are appropriate to their aspirations and needs.
For her part, Mais Sawafta, representative of APEC and General Manager of Oyoun Media Company, confirmed that APEC seeks to support the most important developmental and pioneering projects in the country that would make a difference and advance the wheel of economic growth, considering that APEC's sponsorship of the forum is in line with its policy of empowering women. Which is keen to apply in all its companies, especially as it supports a Palestinian institution based on a group of entrepreneurial businesswomen in the Palestinian society who are able to make a difference in the development work of the Palestinian woman.
In his speech, the Prime Minister said, "Leadership is a path to leadership, and every success story for a woman is a step towards economic, political or societal leadership. We are an educated people and women make up 51% in universities. This is a pride for Palestine, but it must translate itself into education as a phrase It is a tool to provide opportunities for creativity, excellence and leadership.
The Prime Minister called Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh called on the private sector to pay equal wages for women and men for the same job and fairness to women by all standards, to eliminate the phenomenon of wage disparity in Palestine, pointing out that salaries in the government are equal between men and women for the same jobs. Shtayyeh concluded: "Everything that is possible to raise the status of women and their status socially, politically and economically is a priority for us, and we will adopt the outcomes of this conference."
For her part, Duaa Wadi, Executive Director of the Forum, reviewed the plan for the years 2023-2026, emphasizing the Foundation's vision, mission and work methodology to achieve them, and presented the strategic goals and what it seeks to achieve in the field of economic empowerment. She also thanked all the partners who believed in the forum's mission and goals and provided support over the past 15 years.
During the forum, dialogue sessions were held, the first of which was with the Minister of National Economy, entitled 'Governmental Directions, Laws and Procedures Required to Empower Women in the Economy'. The second, with Dr. Firas Melhem, Governor of the Monetary Authority, is entitled “Financial Inclusion as a Tool to Enhance the Role of Women in Achieving a Prosperous Palestinian Economy.”
The head of the Environmental Quality Authority, Dr. Nisreen Al-Tamimi, reviewed the 'contribution to the environmental and sustainable economy from a gender perspective, reality and future aspirations'. Mr. Ibrahim Al-Afia, Head of the Cooperation Department, at the Office of the European Union Representative (West Bank, Gaza Strip, UNRWA) spoke about the 'initiatives implemented by the European Union to empower women in Palestine', and Ms. Wendy Teleki, Secretary General of the Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative at the World Bank, spoke About "international trends and initiatives to empower women in the economy"
Finally, Mrs. Shuaa Marar, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Businesswomen's Forum, addressed a message about 'leadership and representation of women in decision-making positions and women in the economy'.