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Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman of the Arab International Women’s Forum, appointed to the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work

August 24, 2017

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The Arab International Women’s Forum is proud to announce that Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder Chairman of AIWF, has been invited to join the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work, as the only Commissioner from the Arab world to contribute to this timely and valuable Centenary Initiative under the joint chairmanship of Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, and the President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. The ILO launched the Global Commission on the Future of Work, a high-level international body to address the challenges of the rapidly transforming world of work, in Geneva on 22 August 2017 in the presence of the Commission Co-Chairs.

The Commission will undertake an in-depth examination of the future of work that can provide the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice in the 21st century. The Commission will focus in particular on the relationship between work and society, the challenge of creating decent jobs for all, the organization of work and production, and the governance of work, towards the development of a Commission Report.

In her address at the launch, the President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim strongly encouraged “all countries and stakeholders to come up with comprehensive recommendations and novel ideas on how to address the opportunities and challenges of the future of work. We can accomplish this by ‘putting people first’, by recognising that labour is more than simply a commodity in the labour market in the spirit of the ILO Constitution, or even just a factor of production.”

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said: “We cannot stop development, nor should we even try. What we need to do is come together: to harness innovation to improve the daily lives of millions, to use new technology to build cleaner and more sustainable societies, and at the same time create new jobs with better conditions for everyone. These objectives lie at the heart of this Commission.”

The Commission was set up under the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative launched by the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in 2013. The Commission has 28 members (all of whom serve in their personal capacity), including the co-chairs themselves and its four ex-officio members – ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and the Officers of the ILO Governing Body. The members of the Commission will produce an independent report that will be submitted to the Centenary Conference of the ILO in 2019. Haifa Al Kaylani is the only Commissioner from the Arab world.

As a development economist, Haifa launched the Arab International Women’s Forum in London in 2001 with the clear aim of supporting and enhancing the role of women as engines of economic growth in the development of the Middle East region, working across the board with civil society, the private sector, academia and governments, at the heart of the Arab world and globally, and bringing partners in all spheres together to build bridges and build business, effect progress, correct negative stereotyping and build the capacity of Arab women at every level and in every sector.

In January 2017, Haifa was proud on a personal level to become a Fellow of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, undertaking the Fellowship through 2017 to carry forward on a global level the mission to which she has devoted over three decades of her life – the empowerment and advancement of Arab women and youth through job creation, entrepreneurship, education and economic empowerment, in the MENA region and internationally.

She was featured in Forbes Middle East’s LeaderBoard: Standing Out list of High Achievers in July 2017, together with the region’s most influential women who “aside from their day jobs … are inspiring their peers and the next generation by heading up business councils, excelling in sports, leading philanthropic initiatives and breaking records.” Haifa was commended for her leadership of AIWF, which has achieved international recognition for successfully linking Arab women with their international counterparts, and for her commitment as Founder Chairman to encouraging cultural exchange and understanding between communities and promoting gender equality around the world.

On her appointment as a Commissioner of the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work, Haifa Al Kaylani says: “It is a privilege to be invited to join the ILO Global Commission and to serve alongside such distinguished Commissioners from around the world. In my role as Founder Chairman of AIWF and as a development economist, the key issues of job creation and creating opportunities for women and youth in the MENA economy and internationally have been at the heart of my work and commitments for two decades. Realising the vision of a future working world that empowers young people to progress and prosper is, in my view, vital to global security, a mission that I am deeply committed to, and now, as a Commissioner on the Future of Work Centenary Initiative, a mission that I am very much looking forward to developing even further.”

The Arab International Women’s Forum Board, Partners and Members extend their warmest congratulations and support to Haifa Al Kaylani as she assists the ILO in its strategy to address critical challenges and potential for the future working world.

For further information, please visit the ILO website at

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