A Development Organisation
Leading The Way Forward
The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) has a clear aim to support and enhance the role of women in the social and economic development of their countries and across the Middle East region.
The Arab International Women‘s Forum (AIWF), established in 2001 as an independent not for profit organisation, is a unique network linking Arab women with their international counterparts and serves as the voice of Arab women, showcasing their development, ability and competence in business, professional and public life, creating greater global awareness of women’s success and prospects in the Arab world.
Now in its second decade of fulfilling its mission of Building Bridges, Building Business, the Arab International Women’s Forum has been an agent of change for women in the Arab region, encouraging their potential to take greater leadership roles and reach higher levels of responsibility in all sectors of business, public life and in civil society while at the same time contributing to the progress and prosperity of their families and communities.
AIWF has been recognised for its vision and successful achievement of outstanding and timely initiatives with two landmark Reports and Recommendations in 2005 and 2007 on Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World which set the benchmark for building and promoting its policy recommendations and strategies that have a focus on capacity building and training, economic competitiveness, sustainable human development and the empowerment of women, through partnership, increased connectivity, innovation and collaboration, for women in the Arab world. To mark the end of its first decade, AIWF widened its remit to connect women in the Arab world with women in the other emerging economies by launching its enhanced Programme for Building Bridges, Building Business: Emerging Economies, Emerging Leaderships determining that its future direction would be on continuing to strengthen its focus on the importance of education, leadership training, capacity building and self-development for women and youth and urging governments and the private sector to work together to achieve much needed job creation initiatives.
AIWF has received international recognition in the Arab world and internationally as a powerful advocate of women in business for the advancement of women, and its growing role to promote and advance legislative rights for the participation of Arab women, has been distinguished by collaboration with, among others, the League of Arab States, the European Commission and European Parliament, United Nations organisations and agencies, the World Bank, the MENA-OECD
Investment Programme, women’s business councils in the Arab States, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, International Chambers of Commerce and many globally recognised institutes of higher and further education.
The Young Arab Women Leaders – The Voice of the Future initiative was launched in 2011 by AIWF in partnership with its Global Diamond Partner PwC, through which AIWF and PwC are committed to equipping young women leaders with the skills to start, grow and lead successful businesses, increasing access to technical and professional education and strengthening links between women in the UK and the MENA. An inaugural Conference was held in the City of London in 2011 and thereafter, AIWF and PwC extended their joint initiative to the Arab region and outstanding events have been held in Amman, Jordan; Beirut, Lebanon; Dubai, United Arab Emirates and in Birzeit, Palestine, prior to returning again to the City of London in 2014. All of these events have provided a platform for young aspiring Arab women to support, engage and network with mentors in political, economic and social leadership roles in the Arab world. The seventh Conference of the Young Arab Women Leaders series will be held in Doha, Qatar in November 2015.
AIWF could not have made the impact it has over the last decade without the support of its Global Partners: PepsiCo, Pfizer Inc, Shell, Willis, Sharjah Business Women Council, PwC, Jumeirah and Sungjoo Foundation, all of whom are committed to strong inclusiveness and diversity policies and developing and training women. Also of great importance to the work of AIWF are the MoU partnerships with the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, the Mudara Institute of Directors, the Pearl Initiative, the Dubai Business Women Council and Memac Ogilvy. In raising awareness and strengthening its connections with global media, from June 2007 AIWF has enjoyed a continuing relationship with the Financial Times (FT) which has culminated in four FT special reports on Arab women in business. AIWF supported the publication of Domains of Influence: Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy, which is a unique testament to the impact of Arab Women in today’s global environment of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment and which was shortlisted for the fourth prestigious Prix Pictet.
In 2015, AIWF is pleased to partner with the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division (IBA/LPD) Initiative for Women Business Lawyers and the Arab Women’s Legal Network to embark on a new key initiative to assist women in commercial law in the Arab region, commencing with a joint event in Amman, Jordan in September.
Supported fully by its powerful network of global partners, the Arab International Women’s Forum continues to build on the commitment made at the end of its first decade to work towards sustainable empowerment for women and youth and to champion a concerted drive at the highest levels to advance gender equality in the Arab world. Promoting an enhanced role for Arab women in their economies and their communities will contribute towards the sustainable development and prosperity in the Arab world to which every citizen aspires and truly achieve progress for all.