AIWF celebrates International Women’s Day 2019 with a Special Reception in London officially launching the AIWF 2019 Annual Programme

AIWF celebrates International Women’s Day 2019 with a Special Reception in London officially launching the AIWF 2019 Annual Programme 12 March 2019

“On behalf of the Board of AIWF, I take this opportunity to extend my warmest wishes to all women advocates, our partners in the private sector, and grassroots organisations all over the world who are working tirelessly to honour the spirit and mission of International Women’s Day.” – Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder & Chairman of the Arab International Women’s Forum, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019

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. The AIWF Special Reception, held in the evening at the Royal Automobile Club in London, was hosted by AIWF Chairman Haifa Al Kaylani who was supported by several valued AIWF Board Members.

The Reception was exceptionally well attended by senior leadership and representatives of the diplomatic corps and leading private sector, civil society and academic organisations including from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Boodle Hatfield, St Mark’s Hospital/Imperial College, Schlumberger, Vistra, Northern Trust, the Financial Times, the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, Gulf International Bank, PwC, Heidrick & Struggles, Saudi British Joint Business Council, the National Bank of Egypt, Imperial College London Business School, the Global Diplomatic Forum, St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, the Europe Arab Bank, the Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency, the Women’s Engineering Society, Gulf Times, and WWF UK, among many others.

Ambassador Ibrahim Mohieldeen, Head of the London mission for the League of Arab States, delivered special remarks as a Guest of Honour at the AIWF Special Reception following Mrs Al Kaylani’s keynote opening address, in which she welcomed the distinguished guests and valued partners and members in attendance and reiterated the support of AIWF for the spirit and mission of International Women’s Day.

“International Women’s Day,” Mrs Al Kaylani said, “is a celebration of what women have done and will continue to do to further calls to ‘Balance for Better’ in every aspect of daily life in the Arab region and globally. Each year, AIWF is proud to join the international development community in celebrating International Women’s Day and in 2019 we are especially proud to honour the 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.” In line with AIWF’s recent initiatives to empower and support women-led innovation in STEM, she said, “AIWF is also especially proud to support the UN Women campaign for International Women’s Day, 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.”

The 2019 IWD call for action is very much at the heart of what AIWF has been doing at the Arab and international level for over 18 years to create a more stable and more balanced future for women and youth in the MENA region and internationally. Through its key programmes and initiatives and working closely with our global network of corporate and institutional partners, AIWF prioritises women’s and youth issues, examining strategies for job creation and inclusive sustainable development. AIWF supports a universal, rights-based approach to bringing about meaningful, multilateral collaboration between all stakeholders – grassroots organisations, the private sector, public sector partners and women and young people themselves to navigate the challenges of gender balance not only in the MENA region but globally.

The Special Reception celebrating International Women’s Day provided AIWF with an excellent opportunity to launch the AIWF 2019 Annual Programme building on the momentum, milestones, relationships and recommendations that emerged not only through the outstanding 2018 AIWF Annual Programme but carrying forward the work and approach of AIWF since its inception in 2001 which has been made possibly with the endorsement of all valued partners and supporters.

Taking forward the UN Women aim on International Women’s Day to empower women and girls in innovation and STEM, and the overarching IWD theme of achieving gender balance, the Chairman was proud to announce the details of this year’s AIWF programme, which will commence with a high-level conference on Women Leaders & Health: Empowering women leaders in innovation, medical education and healthcare delivery, to be held in partnership between the Arab International Women’s Forum, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the American University of Beirut, on 16-17 April 2019.

AIWF’s 2019 Annual Programme will continue with a major conference in Egypt on 16-18 September 2019 on Women as Engines of Economic Growth: Empowering women innovators, entrepreneurs, executives and educators towards fulfilment of the SDGs in the MENA Region, in partnership with the American University in Cairo and in parallel with the university’s centenary celebrations.