Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, delivered the keynote address at the last day of Insight Dubai International Conference 2010, hosted and organized by Dubai Women’s College (DWC).
A number of the region’s most prominent women spoke on women’s voices and leadership in Arab culture including Najla Al Awadi, CEO Dubai Media Incorporation Member of the UAE Federal National Council.
The event opened with H.E.’s keynote speech. Sheikha Lubna addressed a diverse audience of 130 students from 32 countries along with Dr. Howard Reed, Director of DWC and Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Associate Director of DWC as well as academics professionals, and DWC students.
Sheikha Lubna spoke about the importance of enhancing women’s role and abilities in business and at the workplace, “my message to you today, is to always remember your social responsibilities as you conduct your daily duties and business, as it is a national duty towards our people and the progress of our society, ” she pointed out.
Sheikha Lubna highlighted the most significant achievements of Emirati women over the past years in order to indicate that women, in general, have strong interpersonal skills.
“Emirati women occupy 18% of the Cabinet’s seats, more than 22.5% of the Federal National Council’s seats (Our Parliament), in addition to constituting 10% of the diplomatic corps and filling 30% of the leadership positions related to decision making. They also fill 66% of the public sector’s jobs. This shows that we are natural leaders with the potential to make this world a better place for our children and the generations to come,” she added.
The other three inspiring speakers addressed the topic of “Women Leading Change” and focused on how women can be influential leaders in community service.
Najla Al Awadhi emphasized how young women can make a difference by volunteering and dedicating themselves to worthwhile causes.
Sara Baker, the Community Service Unit Coordinator and Family Support Club Supervisor of the Dubai Autism Center explained that she performs her role on a completely voluntary basis. This provided and excellent example to the students about the vital role that women can play in volunteerism and helping children with special needs. She noted the amount of self-satisfaction that she gains from doing her work.
Finally Dr. Buthaina Al Shunnar, an American Board certified plastic surgeon and UAE national, amazed the students with the challenges that she faced in training to be a surgeon and the touching stories she related about helping disfigured children to gain hope and confidence.
The conference has been a great success and it was wonderful to end the week with such inspirational role models such as these four women.
“I know that both the international and the local students have learned many important life lessons from these powerful women” said Dr. Monica Gallant, co-chair of the Insight Dubai conference and Chair of the Business programs at Dubai Women’s College.