Celebrating 20 Years of the Arab International Women’s Forum

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021 and AIWF’s 20th Anniversary this year, the AIWF President & Founder has shared her reflections on her two decades of leadership of AIWF and her commitment to fostering sustainable development with women and youth at its heart.

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In memory of Rania Rizk

The Arab International Women's Forum has paid tribute to the late Rania Rizk, AIWF Co-Chair, distinguished Member of the AIWF Board, and SVP & General Counsel, PepsiCo AMEA, who passed away on Sunday 20 December in Dubai.


Rania was a sister, mentor and treasured friend to all of us at AIWF. She was wholly devoted to the AIWF mission to break down barriers for women in business, law, and public service. As a distinguished Member of the AIWF Board since 2012 and Co-Chair since 2017, Rania’s contributions to AIWF, her indefatigable energy, and her indomitable positivity and generosity will always be deeply valued, cherished and remembered by all of us who had the great honour of knowing her and working with her.

Rania was a truly wonderful human being. We all keenly miss her presence, her immensely valued expertise, her fierce intellect, her humanity, and her warmth of spirit. We will always remember Rania with the utmost fondness, respect and gratitude for her unwavering commitment to nurturing women’s leadership and empowering young people towards a brighter, more prosperous future. We know that the countless people who Rania mentored, encouraged, and so deeply inspired all over the world, through her work at PepsiCo and in her voluntary devotion to AIWF, have shared in our profound grief over her loss and so many have expressed heartfelt condolences and tributes to Rania’s family and colleagues.


Rania made invaluable contributions throughout the journey of AIWF and we were privileged to have her with us as a cherished member of the AIWF Board. AIWF will honour Rania’s memory by carrying her deeply held values and dedication to achieving a more diverse and equitable working world into all our future programmes and initiatives.


Haifa Al Kaylani 
Founder & Chair 
Arab International Women's Forum

As Founder & Chair of the Arab International Women's Forum (AIWF), I and the Board of the AIWF extend to you the best of the Season's Greetings and all good wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

We all look forward to a brighter year 2021 marked by inclusion, equality of opportunity and economic security for the world's most vulnerable, most marginalised, and most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Arab world and across the globe. As we look to our 20th Anniversary in 2021, AIWF stands ready to work closely with our valued corporate, institutional and global advocacy partners to 'build back better' in the pivotal year ahead, with a strong Annual Programme and an intensified focus on directly addressing critical development challenges disproportionately affecting women and young people who are so vital to the long-term health and prosperity of the region. The Board of AIWF and I thank you for your support of the AIWF mission and look forward to welcoming you to a key AIWF event in 2021.


Haifa Al Kaylani 
Founder & Chair 
Arab International Women's Forum

The Arab International Women’s Forum is proud to honour UN Women’s International Women’s Day theme, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights, through its 2020 Annual Programme marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

Each year, The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) is proud to join the international development community in celebrating International Women's Day (IWD), a focal point in the global call for action on women’s empowerment. IWD 2020 is a vital opportunity for us all to reflect on the remarkable progress and remaining challenges for women in the MENA Region and globally, and to honour exemplary women leaders who are paving a brighter, more equitable and prosperous future in their countries and their communities for the next generation.

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AIWF publishes Special Report & Recommendations on Women as Engines of Economic Growth

Haifa Report

The Arab International Women's Forum is proud to announce the publication of its Special Report & Recommendations emerging from the high-level conference, Women as Engines of Economic Growth, held by AIWF and the American University in Cairo with PepsiCo as Lead Conference Partner and PwC as Conference Supporting Partner in Egypt in September 2019.

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AIWF Chairman recognised in Cranfield University's Women to Watch 2019

Cranfield University

The Arab International Women's Forum congratulates Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder & Chairman of AIWF, on her recognition in the Women to Watch 2019 supplement of Cranfield University launched alongside the Female FTSE Board Report, an annual analysis of women on boards produced annually by Cranfield University's School of Management.

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AIWF hosts Special Reception in London in celebration of International Women's Day

AIWF Special Reception in London in celebration of International Women's Day

On 12 March 2019, the Arab International Women's Forum was delighted to welcome over 70 leading members of the London-and Europe-based Arab, British and international business community to the AIWF Special Reception celebrating the occasion of International Women's Day 2019.

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AIWF is proud to honour the International Women’s Day theme, ‘Balance for Better’ through its Annual Programme to advance gender balance and empower women-led innovation in health, STEM and sustainable economic growth

Mrs Al Kaylani, White Jacket sm

Each year, AIWF is proud to join the international development community in celebrating International Women's Day and this year we are especially proud to honour the 2019 IWD theme of ‘Balance for Better’ across the full year’s programme, supporting the global call-to-action for driving gender balance and achieving a gender-equal world that will work for both women and men and leave no one behind. Through AIWF’s 2019 Programme and indeed in all our work and initiatives, we are also proud to support the UN Women campaign for International Women's Day this year, Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change, which puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.

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AIWF publishes official Report & Recommendations emerging from high-level conference on Women, Water & Youth held in Amman in September 2018

Event Panel


05 December 2018 – AIWF is proud to announce the official publication of the Report & Recommendations emerging from the Joint Conference of AIWF and the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) held in Amman, Jordan on 26-27 September 2018, on Women, Water & Youth: Perspectives from the MENA Region.

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AIWF / CMI Joint Conference on Women, Water & Youth brings to light critical development challenges in the MENA Region

The Joint Conference of AIWF and the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) was held in Amman, Jordan in 26-27 September 2018 on Women, Water & Youth: Perspectives from the MENA Region. 

Speakers

The conference was held in partnership with the CMI and benefited tremendously from the invaluable endorsement, input and contributions of Conference Partners, the Union of Arab Chambers, PepsiCo, PwC and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM).

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2018 International Women's Day

"Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women's lives" 
A Special Message from the AIWF Chairman

UN Women's theme for International Women's Day 2018, "Time Is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women's Lives", follows a year in which much of the Arab world saw phenomenal progress in women's leadership throughout the region in many formal, developed, and information-based sectors, but still significant improvement to be made in addressing the challenges and disempowerment of women and young people in the rural and informal economies.

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AIWF holds 10th YAWL conference on Women-Led Innovation in STEM



STEM Event

AIWF was proud to hold its 10th Young Arab Women Leaders conference with the Royal Academy of Engineering as Host Partner, in continued partnership with PwC, and with the valued partnership of the World Bank, PepsiCo and Shell.



Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, appointed to the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work


 

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AIWF holds successful 9th Young Arab Women Leaders conference in Fez, Morocco


Aiwf Conference, Fez 

Following on from the success of the Young Arab Women Leaders: The Voice of the Future conferences in Amman, Beirut and Dubai in 2012, Palestine in 2013, London in 2011 and 2014, Doha in 2015, and Kuwait in 2016, the Arab International Women's Forum (AIWF) was proud to host the ninth conference of the series in Fez, Morocco on 18 April 2017 in partnership with PepsiCo and PwC.

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Haifa Al Kaylani appointed President & Founder of the AIWF; Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby appointed new Chair of the Board of the Arab International Women's Forum

Haifa Al Kaylani appointed President

December 14, 2020, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - On the 14th December 2020 there was a Board meeting of the Arab International Women’s Forum (‘AIWF’). The meeting was held to discuss the decision of Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, the original Founder of the AIWF, to step down as Chair and to approve the appointment of the new Chair, Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby as of 1st of January 2021. Mrs Al Kaylani will remain as a Director of the AIWF and hold the title of President & Founder. Mrs Al Kaylani founded the Arab International Women’s Forum 20 years’ ago and she felt now was an appropriate time to hand over the role to a successor.

AIWF was set up as a development organisation based in London with the clear aim of supporting women’s leadership and social and economic growth in the MENA region and always within an international context. AIWF is a leader in convening stakeholders from government, business, civil society, academia and media to develop key initiatives addressing the capacity, skills and leadership of Arab women. It is a key belief of the AIWF that empowering women is crucial to the prosperity and sustainability of the MENA region.

Through Mrs Al Kaylani’s leadership, the Forum has led on numerous initiatives and landmark reports and recommendations which have been widely disseminated. While this year has been a challenging year for many organisations throughout the world, despite the restrictions of COVID, AIWF has remained active through a series of substantive webinars.

AIWF is delighted to announce that Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby has agreed to take on the role of Chair. Dr Al Shuaiby has been a member of the AIWF Board since 2009 and is well known within the MENA region as a strong and impactful leader.

Accepting the appointment, Dr Shuaiby said “I am delighted to be taking on the role of the Chair of AIWF, following in the footsteps of its founder who has built the organisation into such a well-known forum within the MENA region and internationally. I am also pleased that Haifa will remain as an active Director in the organisation and look forward to continuing our partnership for the benefit of AIWF”.

Commenting on the handover, Mrs Al Kaylani said “I am proud to have founded the AIWF and honoured to have served as Chair for close to 20 years. I am excited about the prospect of Dr Afnan’s leadership and am confident that she will be an outstanding Chair. I look forward to supporting her in taking the AIWF to its next phase of development.”

Read full announcement (English)

Read full announcement (Arabic)



Message from the AIWF Chairman on COVID-19

Mrs Al Kaylani speaking

As Founder & Chairman of the Arab International Women's Forum, and at this time of great concern for all of us, I extend on behalf of the Board of AIWF our sincere wish that all our valued partners, members, supporters, and all your families and loved ones are safe and healthy.
We hope that the global coronavirus pandemic passes with minimum human suffering and loss.

In these unprecedented times in which the international community is greatly preoccupied with managing the spread of coronavirus, AIWF takes a moment to acknowledge the women at the frontline of the coronavirus crisis - women in science, research, policy development, healthcare, the media, and women who are caregivers, mothers and community leaders. At this time of crisis, women's roles are more important than ever. 

We express our sincere gratitude and admiration to our healthcare professionals, teachers, parliamentarians and all those keeping our essential services running in the UK, the MENA Region and globally. 

The coronavirus pandemic has presented the most serious global public health crisis of our time and the impact will be felt for many years to come, not only in the field of health but also in the economy, in job creation and in civil protections. It is the collective responsibility of us all, once the pandemic passes, to stand together to overcome the lasting challenges that this virus will leave in its wake. 

The Board of the Arab International Women's Forum and I pledge our full support to our partners in the international development and business communities to ensure that vital progress made by women does not regress in economic reconstruction efforts, and that all women across the globe retain their vital voices in efforts to restore and renew our communities, our societies, and our economies. 

Haifa Al Kaylani 

Founder & Chairman 

Arab International Women's Forum


The Arab International Women’s Forum and The American University in Cairo hold major conference in Egypt on Women as Engines of Economic Growth in September 2019 as part of AUC’s Centennial Celebrations

Cairo 2019

The Arab International Women's Forum is proud to share that Women as Engines of Economic Growth: Empowering women innovators, entrepreneurs, executives and educators towards fulfilment of the SDGs in the MENA Region took place on 16 & 17 September 2019 at and in partnership with the American University in Cairo, with PepsiCo as Lead Conference Partner and PwC Middle East as Conference Supporting Partner.

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AIWF publishes Special Report & Recommendations on Women Leaders & Health

Mrs Al Kaylani

The Arab International Women's Forum is proud to announce the publication of a special report and series of recommendations emerging from the high-level conference, Women Leaders & Health: Empowering women leaders in innovation, medical education and healthcare delivery, held by AIWF, the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon in April 2019.

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The Arab International Women’s Forum, the American University of Beirut and University of Massachusetts Medical School hold high-level conference on ‘Women Leaders & Health’ in Beirut, Lebanon

The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) were proud to hold a high-level conference on Women Leaders & Health: Empowering women leaders in innovation, medical education and healthcare delivery in Beirut, Lebanon under the esteemed Patronage of His Excellency Mr Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers, on 16-17 April 2019.

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AIWF hosts high-level Special Reception in Beirut honouring Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director of the Mashreq Region, the World Bank

The AIWF Special Reception in Lebanon examined critical economic reform programmes announced at the recent CEDRE Conference held in Paris with a focus on enhancing economic opportunities and prosperity for women and youth in Lebanon

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AIWF greatly saddened by the passing of AIWF Board Member and eminent political economist Jean-Pierre Lehmann


Jean-Pierre Lehmann

AIWF is greatly saddened to have received the news of the passing of Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy, Founder of the Evian Group, and distinguished member of the AIWF Board, on 21 December in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Chairman’s Message

AIWF Special Announcement



Picture


It is with great pride and pleasure that the Board of the Arab International Women’s Forum announces that Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, AIWF Founder Chairman joins Harvard University as a Fellow of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Programme, in 2017. Mrs Al Kaylani has been invited to join 45 global leaders selected for an intensive, multi-disciplinary program and yearlong Fellowship at Harvard to solve significant social problems.





A Special Message on International Women's Day from the Acting Chairman of AIWF, Rania Rizk


"2017 presents AIWF with a number of exciting opportunities to explore new dimensions and perspectives, address emerging challenges for Arab women and youth in a global context, and engage with new international contacts towards even greater cross-cultural collaboration in every sector and every sphere."



AIWF Webinar | Women on the Frontline in the Fight Against COVID-19 and Beyond

On 8 July 2020 The Arab International Women's Forum held the second virtual event in the AIWF Webinar Series 2020, titled 'Women on the Frontline in the Fight Against COVID-19 and Beyond', in co-operation with Pfizer, a longstanding AIWF Global Partner.

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AIWF Webinar | The Role of the World Bank in Coordinating Responses to Economic Challenges Further Aggravated by COVID-19 in the Mashreq Region

AIWF has launched a Webinar Series as its 2020 Annual Programme, featuring Keynote Speakers and valued participants who are visionaries and experts representing diverse sectors drawn from the Arab world and the international community.

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AIWF Webinar | The OECD Response to the Gender Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis in the MENA

On 09 September 2020 The Arab International Women's Forum held the third virtual event in the AIWF Webinar Series 2020, titled 'Building Resilience to Counter Unexpected Shocks: The OECD Response to the Gender Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis in the MENA'.

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AIWF Webinar | Recovering from the Dual Shock of COVID-19 and the Oil Price Drop & Workforce of the Future: Competing Forces Shaping 2030

AIWF's Founder & Chairman, Haifa Al Kaylani, chaired and introduced AIWF's fourth webinar in the AIWF Webinar Series 2020, held on 23 September in valued collaboration with PwC, AIWF Global Partner, titled 'Recovering from the Dual Shock of COVID-19 and the Oil Price Drop' & 'Workforce of the Future: Competing Forces Shaping 2030'.

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AIWF Webinar | 25 Years after the Barcelona Process: The UfM on Women & Inclusive, Sustainable Development in the MENA Region

Haifa Al Kaylani, Founder & Chairman of the Arab International Women's Forum, chaired the fifth key session of the AIWF Webinar Series 2020 on 08 October 2020, welcoming HE Ambassador Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, titled '25 Years after the Barcelona Process: The UfM on Women & Inclusive, Sustainable Development in the MENA Region'.

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AIWF Webinar | The Future of Work in the MENA Region: What will the future Arab workforce look like for women and young people?

The AIWF Webinar, 'The Future of Work in the MENA Region: What will the future Arab workforce look like for women and young people?', was held on 21 October 2020, welcoming HE Dr Mary Kawar, Former Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan; and Frank Hagemann, Deputy Regional Director & Director of ILO Decent Work Support Team, ILO Regional Office for the Arab States.

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AIWF Webinar | Humanising Energy

AIWF Founder & Chairman Haifa Al Kaylani chaired the seventh session of the AIWF Webinar Series, 'Humanising Energy', on 04 November 2020, welcoming Dr Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General & CEO of the World Energy Council; Fatema Al Nuaimi, CEO of ADNOC LNG; and Ali Al Janabi, Chairman of Shell Group of Companies Iraq/UAE.

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AIWF Webinar | Building Back Better: Fostering the transition to a green economy

On 25 November 2020 AIWF brought leaders in sustainability and the green economy together to address 'Building Back Better: Fostering the transition to a green economy' for the eighth virtual event in the AIWF Webinar Series 2020.

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AIWF Webinar | Saudi Women's Leadership & Economic Inclusion: Driving the SDG Agenda to 2030

A month after the G20 Summit was held in Riyadh, marking the first time the Summit has convened in an Arab State, AIWF held the concluding webinar of its AIWF Webinar Series 2020 on 09 December with a high-level panel of Saudi women leaders who shared the initiatives and transformation currently underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to empower women's economic inclusion and participation in line with Vision 2030.

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Haifa Al Kaylani honoured with the 2018 Outstanding Golden Shield Award for Advanced Leadership by the Arab Women's Council


Golden Award

The Arab International Women's Forum is proud to announce that its Founder and Chairman, Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, was honoured and recognised with the 2018 Outstanding Golden Shield Award for Advanced Leadership presented by the Arab Women's Council in Cairo, Egypt during a formal dinner awards ceremony at the conclusion of the AWC Annual Regional Forum on Social Responsibility that took place 12-14 November in Cairo, Egypt on Leading Women: The Path from Empowerment to Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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Luncheon in Honour of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi


Luncheon

On Wednesday 27 July 2016, the AIWF was honored to welcome Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, U.A.E., Chairperson of Nama Women Advancement Establishment and Founder & Patron of Sharjah Business Women Council on her visit to London with a Luncheon at The Royal Automobile Club.

AIWF / SBWC, Partnership for innovation in Entrepreneurship, London, United Kingdom


Partnership for Innovation Seminar

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, U.A.E., Chairperson of Nama Women Advancement Establishment and Founder & Patron of Sharjah Business Women Council, the Arab International Women’s Forum was delighted to organise in collaboration with The Sharjah Business Women Council a Seminar showcasing journeys of businesswomen in the UAE and the UK. The Seminar was held on Wednesday 27 July 2016 in The Royal Automobile Club, London under the title of The Arab International Women’s Forum and The Sharjah Business Women Council: Partnership for Innovation in Entrepreneurship.

 

AIWF 15th Anniversary Reception and Gala Concert at Kensington Palace


Gala Main pic

On 26 April 2016, the very successful AIWF 15th Anniversary Reception and Gala Concert was held at Kensington Palace in London, to commemorate the founding of The Arab International Women’s Forum in 2001