AIWF Activities 2019

What Others Say

“The fact that women continue to trail men in formal labour force participation, access to credit, entrepreneurship rates, and in the income they generate is not only not fair, it is also not smart economics”

-Mr Robert Zoellick, President The World Bank

AIWF Conference, Washington DC, USA , June 2008

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Special Announcement from the AIWF Chairman Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani on the publication of the Report & Recommendations emerging from Women as Engines of Economic Growth

November 11, 2019

Aiwf Halfa Speech

As Founder & Chairman and on behalf of the Board of the Arab International Women's Forum (AIWF), I am delighted to announce the publication of the Special Report & Recommendations emerging from the high-level Joint Conference of the Arab International Women's Forum and the American University in Cairo, Women as Engines of Economic Growth: Empowering women innovators, entrepreneurs, executives and educators towards fulfilment of the SDGs in the MENA Region, which I was proud to chair on 17 September 2019 at the AUC New Cairo Campus in Egypt.

Women as Engines of Economic Growth in Cairo reaffirmed AIWF's engagement and advocacy on key challenges and motivators for women's leadership in key sectors and spheres, on corporate boards and in family business, entrepreneurship and social enterprise, in public service, in sustainability, and in addressing future of work challenges brought on by technology, automation and AI. This path-breaking initiative brought into focus the vital contributions of women leaders in the economy, in entrepreneurship, and in public office, in Egypt, the broader Arab world and the international community. For this special initiative, AIWF welcomed Distinguished Guest Speakers representing the International Labour Organization, the League of Arab States, The World Bank, The American University in Cairo, the Egyptian Parliament, the National Council for Women in Egypt, PepsiCo Egypt, PwC Middle East, The GCC Boards Institute, the Economic Commission for Africa, the Anna Lindh Foundation, AFI Malaysia, Ashoka Arab World, the Geneva Water Hub at the University of Geneva, and Cairo University, among others. We are deeply appreciative to all our Guest Speakers who generously contributed their time, expertise, invaluable experiences and professional insights to the success of the conference, to the compilation of this Special Report, and in shaping the 38 impactful and substantive Recommendations it delivers.

Key Recommendations are focused around skills building, reskilling and upskilling as part of education reform in STEM to prepare the workforce of the future; legislative reform to ensure gender-neutral legislation and implementation on the ground; promoting quotas and eliminating nepotism to increase female representation on corporate boards; reforming inheritance law and property rights to empower women's entrepreneurship in agriculture; supporting women in entrepreneurship and in all sectors and introducing social enterprise laws across the region. 

The Recommendations call for workplace policy change with regard to updating labour codes around workplace regulations, maternity and parental leave, childcare and elderly care policies; addressing the lack of research and data in the region available openly and in the Arabic language as this is vital to strategic policy design; re-educating the media on representing women and leadership in many forms - in business, in communities and within families; crowdsourcing tech solutions to agricultural issues and aligning technical agriculture education with agribusiness and industry especially the food industries; improving access to financial literacy training; and investing in the care economy, the rural economy and in digital infrastructure.

The Women as Engines of Economic Growth Conference was held in full partnership with the American University in Cairo as part of their Centenary Year celebrations under the leadership and with the full endorsement of Francis J Ricciardone, President of AUC. The programme and preparations for our conference were greatly enriched by the outstanding support and expertise of their Faculty and the AUC logistical teams, and we commend AUC as one of the Arab world's leading 'Global Universities' and a true champion for gender diversity and inclusion in the region.

The conference initiative was made possible with the support of all AIWF Global Partners, with special recognition to Global Benefactor Partner PepsiCo as Lead Conference Partner and AIWF Global Partner PwC Middle East as Conference Supporting Partner, and AIWF reiterates its deepest appreciation to our Conference Partners, AIWF Global Partners, our valued Guest Speakers and our participating Guest Delegates for their vital contributions towards the success of this unique and exceptional conference initiative. 

The Women as Engines of Economic Growth Conference Special Report is now available for download at the links below. We now look forward with great optimism to working closely with all stakeholders to promote and action the many valuable recommendations we are proud to present to you today in this comprehensive and rich Report & Recommendations.


Recommendations Women as Engines of Economic Growth (September 2019)
Report & Recommendations  Women as Engines of Economic Growth (September 2019)