On 31 July 2019, Al-Sahm Women hosted a networking dinner for Women in Tech in our Amman, Jordan chapter. It was a fun night with dynamic conversation, challenging problems, and of course, good food. The Blue Fig could not have been a better host, and we were able to share with each other as a community of 12 women. Events like this are what remind us every day of how much we need to support each other professionally, and how much of our career success depends on having women in our lives who push us in positive ways. Warm regards from Jordan…
Makinder: Cairo-based program aims to immerse young students to the art of Computing and computer programming language and fight against gender biases via the Gear Up Program, thanks to an adequate staff that subordinates and assists young Arab coders. Students are able to get emerged into the deep learning of programming concepts throughout various activities and gain a foothold into engineering. A fun learning experience! Tutors help students use their capacities to their advantage via diverse team building activities, allowing children to recognize the multifaceted concepts of programming in accessible and entertaining ways.
Indeed, the complexity of the field can come in as a challenging experience, supporting structured programming lessons teaches young talents the lexical variable understanding and the necessary tools to acquire engineering operation system programming skills. Participants are able to manipulate and translate functions and algorithms easily as they launch code blocks and experience their coding skills live while they’re connected to hardware devices. The program offers the opportunity to integrate classes in related disciplines with interactive activities and practical exercises toward a unique opportunity for children to learn fast and effectively.
Information Technology has for a long time been considered a male-dominated field, and somewhat still is. Al Makinah tries to trigger impact and encourage a new generation of developers into computer programing as demands for software and web development competencies are on demand. Al Makinah founder, Eman El koshairy wants to challenge the social norms by pushing for gender diversity and creating a generations of female tech leaders.
The latest Riseup Summit allowed Eman to raise her voice about the importance of females in IT & technology industries. The summit is a three-day entrepreneurship marathon that allows startupers and power player investors to join forces, network and empower one another in support of MENA’s promising entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Take a look at what people are saying about us in the MENA region. These articles covered Al-Sahm Women’s last regional conference in Dubai, UAE!
The Women Who Lead conference in Dubai was a resounding success, with impressive female speakers, attendees, and vendors all pitching in to create an atmosphere of positive relationships and effective networking. From discussing work in the United Nations to finding balance in your life through yoga, exercise, and meditation, the conference covered substantive topics in entrepreneurship, technology, and management. The final takeaways were guidance such as: Ask to be on a board, prioritize your family AND your career, focus on your well being, and view your personality and work ethic as your personal brand. Stay tuned for our upcoming 2019 conference in Amman, Jordan, where we’ll feature new topics, new speakers, and of course, powerful women.
Racha Haffar is the Founder and President of Not 4 Trade, the first anti-human trafficking NGO in Tunisia. She is also a Fulbright Alumna at the University of Kentucky, a journalist, and a women’s rights activist who is extremely passionate about fighting human trafficking and modern day slavery.
During her stay in the U.S., Racha was involved with the United Nations Association (UNA), where she became the vice-president of the Bluegrass chapter in Kentucky and the chair of the anti-human trafficking committee. She was able to present her research on “The Developments of Trafficking in Women in Post-Revolution Tunisia” to engage the public in the fight against trafficking. She was honored as a recipient of the Women’s Rights Award from the UNA and the Leadership Award from the University of Kentucky. She also gave a TEDx talk on the importance of facing fears under the title, “The Art of Befriending your Fears.” Ms. Haffar earned master’s degrees in International Relations and International Development and Cooperation from the Universities of Tunis and Palermo.
Source : vitalvoices.org
In 1998, Sarah Al Ayed collaborated with her brother in setting up TRACCS, Trans Arabian Creative Communications, learning her business from the ground up. Today, it’s one of the largest public relations companies in Saudi Arabia, and further afield, working with globally renowned companies as well as the kingdom’s governmental banks and entities.
Sarah Al Ayed has become as celebrated as her company in many other aspects, including being a Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Regional Ambassador for Middle East & North Africa and the Vice President of the National Entrepreneurship Committee (Council of Saudi Chambers). In 2013, Forbes proclaimed her one of the most influential women in family businesses in the Arab world.
Businesswoman, mother, humanitarian, mentor; Sarah Al Ayed does it all and AboutHer.com wanted to find out how:
Tell us a little about how and where you started your career in public relations.
I co-founded TRACCS with my brother Mohamed, who is a communications expert, he had a dream about revamping the understanding and practice of Public Relations and communications across the region - from a traditional practice to a science contributing to the development of an industry that is able to serve both private and public sector organizations. While I had no experience in the field and had recently graduated from university where I studied English Literature and Linguistics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, I was coached and mentored by Mohamed and worked in all levels of the company starting from basic research and analysis tasks until I became Managing Partner for Saudi Arabia and a senior consultant in the network.
As a Saudi woman, having worked for yourself in a time where laws on women's rights were stricter, how was your position and success received by your family/society?
My family has always been very supportive, and proud of my achievements and all the work I have done. I believe this has built my own confidence and drive. In terms of advocating women’s causes, I believe in the results and impact rather than the name of the cause or opportunity - this is quite relevant as we are now seeing Saudi Arabia as a nation that is truly advocating women’s rights and giving them more opportunities. Entrepreneurship is a great example of this progression and is something that is close to my heart.
Other than your education, what personal qualities do you think helped you to get to where you are now?
I believe that I am a people’s person, I love working with people helping them develop and letting them see themselves from a different perspective. I was able to use myself as a testing ground to fully understand my capabilities, grow them, nurture them, and then convert them into an asset where I am able to help others. I believe personal development is key.
When I saw the need to help the new recruits entering the workforce with market readiness, in terms of preparing their own CVs, acing interviews, and properly presenting themselves, I started training them in a social and business etiquette program. I believe that personal development is a journey that doesn’t stop.
What challenges do you face as a Saudi woman in a male dominated media industry?
I don’t see the media industry today as male dominated, on the contrary, both men and women are paving the way for the new future of media. The challenges I’m seeing is market readiness and talent development, the media has evolved massively and changes are occurring daily. How is the industry today, in the Kingdom, evolving to match the pace, if not exceed, and how are we preparing the market with talent, opportunities, regulations, etc.? I think that is the key challenge.
What did you do to make yourself heard in a place where perhaps women weren't encouraged to be assertive?
Always being there, being visible, encouraging dialogue, allowing my achievements to be shown through results. Being gender neutral, I want the job because I am qualified not because I am a woman or a man!
Who are the women that inspired you and why?
Every woman is an inspiration. In every step in every phase of my life, the men and women in my life played a role. My main inspiration is and will always be my mother! A woman who defied any challenges she raised five children in the best possible environment with key emphasis on education and bringing out the best in us. Not only that, as my career grew she was always there, guiding and cheering me on. She always had my back and was my support system so that I could achieve, grow and develop.
Inspiration can sometimes come from the simplest actions of those around us. My daughter Haya inspires me to continue on a path we both are proud of; her pride in my work and me is my motivation. She calls me right after my interviews on TV to say “mom you were great,” and shares her favorite parts and gives me her thoughts also - that in and of itself is a massive inspiration.
The truly inspiring woman throughout history who is the Mother of All Believers – Sayyidah Khadijah bint Khuwailed because, through her legacy in life, I learned and understood what it is to be a wife, a mother, a businesswoman (merchant), a leader, and a believer in faith and finding the truth during the hardest of times. The truth about marriage lies in how a woman supports her, and how each complements the other. When one cannot give 100%, the other spouse does and adds on even more to that. She supported her husband Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and was his first believer and invested her wealth and kept her home, family, business going and thriving.
In 2013, you were named in the Forbes Most Influential Women in The Arab World list, how did you feel about this accomplishment?
I was proud! It was truly unexpected because I never strived for recognition or awards, so to be recognized as such means I’m doing something right.
Saudi Arabia is at a turning point and many reforms in favor of gender equality are beginning to take place, what do you hope to see for the future of Saudi women?
The sky is the limit. There are no limits on what they can do and achieve. Each era brought inspiring women who achieved wonders, and their stories are the legacy that will push all generations to place no limitations on what they can do. I am full of optimism, hope and pride.
How do you think the Vision 2030 plan will impact the lives of Saudi women?
The massive impact we are seeing daily; the impact from an educational, career development and social development perspective, it is a vision that is empowering a whole nation not only women but for all. One of the pillars of Vision 2030 is “a vibrant society,” and this cannot be created without equal opportunities for men and women, and a collaborative spirit to power a nation and move it forward.
Being a prominent female businesswoman in the Arab world, how do you use your position to promote female empowerment in the Arab region?
Being the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Regional Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa I have been able to work with WED ambassadors and organizations in various MENA countries to help in their development, and in building bridges of cooperation, support, collaborations and so much more.
Even beyond the WED MENA scope, I’ve always felt that if we have something to share, to teach, and to give then we should not let any challenges hinder us. I’ve developed a training / mentorship program that has kicked off in Jordan and is preparing to launch in other countries starting with the self-development and communications training, leading to entrepreneurial initiative launches. I’m proud to have trained thousands of students and young ladies in the past two years, and have mentored 120 women from Palestine and Syria, who are refugees, living in camps in Jordan. Today I’m proud that 3 have launched their own entrepreneurial ventures and hope to see more following suit.
What do you think are the most significant barriers to female leadership in the region and what do you think needs to change to push it?
There are many challenges and one has to specify whether they are socio, economic or others. But I truly believe that barriers are made to be broken, and the best way to break barriers down is by having a goal and working towards it.
As a successful businesswoman, with Arab values, what do you do to maintain a work-life balance and keep yourself motivated?
Knowing my priorities and working accordingly. While my work and career is very important, today my priority is my daughter Haya.
What empowers you?
What empowers me can be shared via my personal mission statement, a mantra that I live by:
“To inspire and awaken the passion within you, turning what you do to what you love; building a culture of optimism and ardent fervor that is innovative, ethical, giving, energizing by paying it forward.”
I like to think of myself as a source of inspiration for all dreamers who dare to dream to make difference in their society or in their country using ethics and value, integrity, perseverance, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Source : abouther.com
Dubai: The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday named women to the newly created posts of state ministers for happiness and tolerance, and a 22-year-old female for youth affairs.
Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum named eight women as he revealed his latest cabinet line-up of 29 ministers in a series of tweets.
Ohoud al-Roumi. AFP/ WAM / HO
Ohoud al-Roumi, who had served as director of the council of ministers' office, was appointed "minister of state for happiness".
"Happiness is not just a wish in our country. There will be plans, projects, programmes and indices. It will be part of the job of all ministries," tweeted Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the ruler of Dubai.
Shamma al-Mazroui, 22, was appoined state minister for youth, while Lubna al-Qassimi, a veteran minister of international cooperation and development, was handed the new post of state minister for tolerance.
The cabinet has eight new ministers, including five new women, with an average age of 38, WAM state news agency said.
An oil-rich federation of seven Gulf sheikhdoms, the United Arab Emirates is considered a safe haven spared in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings that hit the region.
Last year its rulers sought to widen the country's nascent democratic credentials with about a quarter of its one million citizens given the right to vote.
Eighty-seven of the 330 candidates were women, who play a much larger role in public life in the UAE than in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
But the authorities have been deeply cautious and in 2014 introduced sweeping new counterterrorism legislation that rights groups have criticised as paving the way for a crackdown on dissent of all sorts.
Citizens make up a small minority of the UAE's population of nine million which is overwhelmingly made up of foreign workers.
Source : firstpost.com
This year in particular, women across the Arab world appear to be cracking the remaining glass ceilings, and nowhere more so it seems than in the banking sector. The region’s banks have raised several high-achieving and long-serving women to its highest positions, with the industry representing 28% of our 2017 list.
Saudi Arabia took the lead in high-level appointments. Rania Mahmoud Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group, became the first woman to head a commercial bank in the Kingdom, Latifa Homoud Alsabhan was promoted as the CFO of Arab National Bank, and Sarah Al Suhaimi, CEO of NCB Capital, was appointed as CEO of the country’s stock market, Tadawul, as the Kingdom looks to join MSCI emerging markets index.
The region’s governments have also appointed women to key roles in finance and industry. Lobna Helal, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, floated the country’s currency this year; Nezha Hayat is heading up the Moroccan capital market, and Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi chairs the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority.
The U.A.E. has the highest number of women on the 2017 list with 18, followed closely by Egypt with 16. Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, who runs Saudi conglomerate the Olayan Group, tops the list.
This year we also once again have a list of the 10 most powerful women in government, highlighting ministers across the region. Sahar Nasr, who was earlier the minister of investments, has had international co- operation added to her portfolio, moving her up to number two. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi retains the top spot.
Methodology and criteria:
To compile these rankings, we collected information from annual reports and company websites, as well as other primary sources.
We looked at:
• Company revenues or GDP in the case of government departments and ministries
• Years of experience
• Scope of the role or ministry
Source : https://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/en/list/top-10-powerful-arab-women-government-2017/
Yasmin Helal was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. She grew up in a middle-class neighborhood and attended a private school. As a child, she was stubborn and introverted. School was a breeze for Yasmin and didn’t challenge her in the ways she needed to be challenged. This ennui led to increased frustration and boredom. Yasmin’s mother suggested sport as a solution. Despite Yasmin’s initial lack of enthusiasm towards physical activity, her mother enrolled her in swimming lessons and a basketball league. This small act changed Yasmin’s life.
Through basketball, Yasmin was challenged mentally, physically, and socially – she learned to struggle, to compete, to set goals, to make friends, and to follow-through. Being on a team was a new concept for Yasmin, but one that gave her a sense of belonging and a higher purpose. “Basketball became my everything. It was my school for life. It taught me the importance and responsibility of being on a team, it taught me to set goals, it helped me to express myself, it allowed me to make true friends, and it helped me develop into a leader. These were not lessons I could find in school.”
With her mom’s support, Yasmin later went on to play for the Egyptian National Team. While playing professionally, she also attended Cairo University, where she studied Biomedical Engineering. Because of the difficulty of this major, Yasmin was one of the only students in her very male-dominated department to participate in any extracurricular activities. Despite the intensity of the program, Yasmin flourished, graduating with the highest honors and Top Ten in her class. She then accepted a job as a Radio Network Engineer for the telecom giant, Alcatel-Lucent. In just three short years, she was one of the company’s top performers.
According to Egyptian standards, Yasmin had it all – an excellent job, a prestigious degree, a spot on the National Team, a supportive family, and impressive socioeconomic status. And then one day, Yasmin encountered a beggar on the street who completely changed her understanding of life and human purpose. “I met a man on the street who asked me for money to send his children to school. I asked how much and he said, ‘$8 per child.’ I couldn’t believe it. That’s nothing; it’s like the same as a Burger King combo. I asked him to meet me the next day at the school so I could learn more. From there, I started a Facebook campaign among my friends to encourage them to give $30, which would cover the school fees, uniforms, and books for one child for an entire year. That was the beginning of Educate-Me.”
Shortly after this encounter, Yasmin left her job and officially founded the nonprofit Educate-Me. After a few months of research, she soon realized that the education system was failing the students they were paying to attend. Regardless of age, grade, or gender, most all of the students Yasmin met with were illiterate, even after attending school for more than a year. So Yasmin shifted her focus from supporting student attendance to creating a comprehensive after-school program based on the idea of “Dream-Driven Development.”
Yasmin’s program provides choices for students in very impoverished areas to pursue their dreams in education, sports, and the arts. Through this creative enrichment program, Yasmin is able to offer a number of courses in which students can choose their own paths for education and fulfillment. Currently, she works with more than 120 children and 20 mothers. Through the GSMP, Yasmin would like to learn how to scale up the sports components within Educate-Me, especially focusing on the broader concepts of physical activity and active play.
Source : globalsportsmentoring
Dubai: Six accomplished Emirati ladies on Tuesday discussed their success stories with a room full of women, at Burj Al Arab Hotel.
The young women on the speakers’ panel had diverse careers: including a children’s book writer, fitness trainer, fashion designer and pastry chef. The topic of discussion was ‘Passion, Courage and Success’.
Sahar Al Awadhi, a junior sous chef in the Burj Al Arab’s pastry kitchen, said: “I knew my whole life that I wanted to work with food. I love pastries and being in the kitchen. It is a very tough job. I work 14-hour days on my feet and have to do the same thing over and over again. But I don’t mind because I love it so much. I get to do what I am passionate about,” Al Awadhi, one among few Emirati women who work in the culinary sector, said.
After graduating from high school, Al Awadhi went on to study communications and design management at the American University of Sharjah. Her first job was at Zayed University, where she handled social media, communications, marketing and branding for four years. “I loved that job. I got to work on their social platforms and start them from scratch! It was amazing and creative and wonderful, but deep down I knew that I wanted to work in the restaurant business. Everyone scared me though, saying that it was so hard and my hours would be crazy. I would never have time for my family, they said.”
That was when she took a leap of faith to follow her passion for pastry, as an experimental journey. “I quit my job without having another one lined up, I knew I would succeed because I wanted it that badly.” Al Awadhi got her first kitchen job at La Serre Bistro and Boulangerie, where she worked with some of Dubai’s top chefs. She then decided to further her patisserie training and spent some time learning bread baking, from one of the best bakers in Paris. Today, she is Burj Al Arab’s first ever Emirati chef.
Other successful Emirati women on the panel included Fatima Al Banna, the panel moderator and PR Manager at Jumeirah Group; Abeer Al Khaja, an athlete at Gravity Calisthenics Gym; Dr. Reem Al Gurg, a children’s author. She also a professor and academic researcher who teaches public health at a UAE-based university. Also on the panel was Fatema Al Kamali, co-founder of Borderline Productions and an applied media educator. Shatha Essa, a local fashion designer, was the final participant.
All the panellists noted that they received support from their family, communities and the UAE government, which contributed greatly to their career path and current success.
Source : gulfnews.com
Women are making their mark in the world of business like never before. In every industry and at every level, we look to women who've made it their own as an example for us to do the same. For our series 'Love Your Work', we ask women who have achieved stunning success in their career to tell us how they got there, and their advice on how we can join them.
Career advice can sometimes feel a little disingenuous. Sure, "be persistent" and "follow your dreams" is all well and good, but when they're coming from the CEO of a company, they fall a little flat. In IMAGE.ie's Love Your Work series, we wanted to go deeper and ask authentic, relevant questions to authentic and successful Irish women. We wanted to know their entire career history, the mistakes they've made, what they think the future of their industry looks like - all with you, the reader and aspiring career woman, in mind. What is the advice that will change your view, or inspire you to make the move into something bigger? We asked, and our women answered. Over the past 13 weeks, we've collected some brilliant pieces of advice from our guests, and here are just some of our favourites:
Business owner and World Rugby Council member Su Carty
One is to be prepared to fail. Give it a go, discover, learn the lessons and don't hang everything up on whether you'll succeed or not... Embrace the challenges, embrace the hard moments; even though they're hard, they will be your biggest gift. If you embrace them as an opportunity, as a chance to learn, it changes your whole experience of it.
Restaurateur Elaine Murphy
You may not be cut out for the industry. It's hard, sweaty, late, unhealthy and tough as nails. You will not get rich. You will most likely not get famous. You will get bad knees and calloused hands. Will you still love it? If the answer is yes, then go for it.
Head of Communications & Partnerships at Business to Arts Helen Carroll
Believe in yourself even when you don’t think you have enough experience or the right skills. If you want something badly enough you should go for it... Hard work and diligence takes you so far but you need to create opportunities for yourself –offer to do the talk, take the first stab at a proposal or grant application, proactively talk to your boss about your role and how you want to develop. I also think being kind and approachable goes a long way.
Managing Director Rasa Levinaite
Work hard and treat your staff well, because a happy work environment transmits to happy customers every time... I think the main thing is to love your work and be true to your principles, that's my motto at the moment. If you don't love your work, you won't be happy in life.
Sommelier Julie Dupoy
I truly believe that to be successful, you do also need to fail. When you fail, you learn; the hardest part is to stand up and try again but eventually, it will lead you to success... Be really open-minded and actively seek new experiences.
Arts Director Nollaig Healy
Perseverance pays off. There were a few years when I was chipping away at work thinking I wasn’t getting anywhere, but it’s all working towards a goal. Sometimes, when you don’t see immediate results you think you are getting nowhere, but success takes time, hard work and patience.
Broadcaster Mairéad Ronan
You need to have tough skin, to take rejection and have a smile again the next day because there’s always another gig, and you will find someone who likes you... Nothing is beneath you, so work with what people ask. Obviously within reason! Don’t do anything you’re really uncomfortable with, but for the most part, just be a yes person. I think in the beginning, you have to.
Architect Orla Murphy
The ability to work well with other people, to be able to focus, work hard and get the job done, to the very best standard it can be, on time. The ability to communicate well and to remain calm in stressful periods when deadlines are looming and the unexpected happens is very important too.
Social Media Manager Elaine Caffrey
Career paths aren't linear. It's okay to sidestep to do something else. Don't be so hard on yourself. I really feel that, even when I'm working with very senior people, we're all learning every day. One thing I definitely wish I knew was that every day for the rest of your life is still going to be a school day. When I started my career, I was probably very naive, thinking I'd done my course and that this was what I was going to work as forever. But you learn all the time and don't be afraid of learning.
Founder, Managing & Creative Director of Sadie's Kitchen Sarah Kiely
Do your research. It takes a lot of time to launch something and you need to budget for that, both financially and mentally. Get your foundations solid and get the logistics sorted as soon as you can. It's so important to know your strengths too. Ask previous employers what these are - if you're best out on the road talking to potential buyers, do that and do it well, but hire other people to handle the behind-the-scenes stuff. Find your balance.
IMAGE Publications Editor-In-Chief Lizzie Gore Grimes
You need a head full of curiosity and ideas, with a good eye for detail and a good ear. You need to be a keen observer, someone who loves soaking up the world around you and is always thinking of new ways to tell a story, visually, verbally and editorially. Be open and transparent. If in doubt, communicate. Never be afraid to say you don’t understand something and if you make a mistake (and everyone does), own it and be gracious about it.
IMAGE Digital Editor Dominique McMullan
Work hard and be nice to people. Don’t be a push over, but don’t be an a**hole. Everyone is fighting his or her own fight. Be brave. Work hard. Read everything and follow your interests. Go and learn about things that interest you, and then write about them. The rest will follow.
Source : image.ie/
These are 10 Arab women who have started their own company and are making waves in the region's startup scene.
Les femmes qui ont lancé leur propre entreprise représentent 10 à 12% du nombre total des entrepreneurs. Qui sont-elles? Quelles sont leurs principales difficultés?
Au Maroc, le nombre de femmes entrepreneurs représente 10 à 12% du nombre total des entrepreneurs. Elles sont essentiellement concentrées sur Rabat et Casablanca et le chiffre d'affaires moyen des entreprises qu'elles dirigent est de 5 millions de dirhams, révèle une étude d'évaluation du développement de l'entrepreneuriat féminin au Maroc, réalisée par le Bureau international du travail et reprise dans les colonnes du quotidien Aujourd'hui Le Maroc du 17 mai.
A noter que cette enquête a été réalisée entre 2014 et 2015, dans le cadre du projet “Jeunes au travail”. Il en ressort, précise le quotidien, que les femmes marocaines s'impliquent dans l'activité entrepreneuriale à un stade plus précoce de leur vie, comparativement aux autres femmes entrepreneurs de la région Mena. En effet, elles ont, pour la plupart, moins de 40 ans (58%), et 36% d'entre elles sont âgées de 40 à 55 ans. Leur niveau d'éducation va du secondaire au supérieur en milieu urbain. En milieu rural, leur niveau d'instruction se révèle inférieur, quand elles ont été scolarisées.
Les secteurs d'activité dans lesquels elles investissent, en milieu urbain, sont essentiellement le commerce et les services. En milieu rural, c'est l'agriculture qui prime.
Avant de démarrer leur entreprise, 48,5% des femmes entrepreneurs ont exercé une activité soit en tant que salariées du secteur privé ou public, soit en tant que dirigeantes d'entreprises. 54% d'entre elles estiment que les études et l'expérience professionnelle les ont bien préparées à l'entrepreneuriat.
La plupart de ces femmes dirigent des TPE et des PME et ont réussi à créer, en moyenne, 4 à 5 emplois durant l'année de réalisation de l'enquête.
Autres données intéressantes: 8,5% d'entre elles ont déjà dix ans d'expérience dans l'entrepreneuriat. Par ailleurs, 49% des femmes entrepreneurs ont été motivées par l'idée de devenir leur propre patron, tandis que 37% ont été séduites par la rentabilité et 34% par la possibilité d'allier vie professionnelle et vie familiale. 82% d'entre elles ont créé une entreprise de leur propre initiative et 3,5% des entreprises féminines ont accès aux marchés internationaux.
Source : Le360
La Marocaine Sanaa Afouaiz fait partie de la liste des cinq femmes entrepreneures les plus inspirantes du monde arabe que le média saoudien Kawa News vient de publier. Ancienne experte en matière d’entrepreneuriat et de développement commercial pour la Commission européenne et experte politique pour les jeunes professionnels des Nations Unies, Sanaa Afouaiz a créé l’organisation à but non lucratif « Womenpreneur ».
La jeune femme a voyagé dans plus de 30 pays où elle a étudié la situation des femmes et des filles, et a mené plusieurs campagnes pour mettre en lumière les difficultés rencontrées par les jeunes femmes vivant dans des cultures conservatrices, les problèmes de santé reproductive et la question des mariages forcés.
Les quatre autres femmes sélectionnées par Kawa News sont la Tunisienne Racha Haffar, journaliste et activiste des droits des femmes, engagée contre le trafic des êtres humains en Tunisie, l’Irakienne Zena Salih, qui travaille sur le soutien économique des femmes de son pays, l’Égyptienne Yasmin Helal, qui œuvre dans le domaine de l’éducation en Égypte, et la femme d’affaires saoudienne LubnaOlayan, à la tête de la multinationale « Olayan Group » et qui défend la place de la femme au travail et la promotion du monde arabe.
Source : btpnews
C’est une femme d’Oman, élégante, forte et à la tête d’une success story qui ne peut qu’inspirer les femmes arabes…
Depuis toute petite, Kamla Al Aufi, 45 ans, n’a qu’une idée en tête : devenir une chef d’entreprise, une des rares businesswomen du pays. Son père lui répète sans cesse qu’elle est la meilleure et elle le croit, il la pousse à être forte et volontaire pour accomplir ce qu’elle souhaite. En 1999, à l’âge de 25 ans, elle crée sa première entreprise de pierres naturelles pour commercialiser le beau marbre d’Oman, synonyme à la fois de richesse et de fraîcheur dans les maisons.
Comme dans tout le Moyen-Orient, Oman abrite une société traditionnellement masculine, mais petit à petit les femmes prennent leur place. En tout cas, la société leur fait enfin une place, comme le souligne les Nations Unies : "Oman est un des États les plus progressifs du Golfe dans le domaine du droit des femmes !"
Les femmes de la génération de Kamla découvrent un tout autre monde que celui de leurs mères et grand-mères, elles qui ne pouvaient même pas aller à l’école. A Oman, aujourd’hui, le taux de scolarisation des filles est en hausse constante tout comme le nombre de femmes sur le marché du travail (de 17 % en 1990 à 30 % en 2016, 47 % dans la fonction publique). Ici, les femmes peuvent donc travailler, conduire (dans l’Arabie Saoudite voisine, ce sera seulement le cas en juin prochain), voter au suffrage universel (depuis 2003) et participer à la vie politique. Les femmes d’Oman occupent 3 postes ministériels au gouvernement et environ 20% des sièges de l’assemblée parlementaire. C’est trop peu, évidemment, mais on a connu pire !
Kamla Al Aufi est fière d’être une femme, elle ne changerait de genre pour rien au monde, mais sur le plan des affaires, elle doit évoluer dans un monde d’hommes et veut encore grandir : "Je dirige 3 entreprises aujourd’hui, l’une de pierres naturelles, les autres dans l’immobilier et le recyclage. C’était mon rêve, mais je dois être honnête, j’en veux toujours plus. Je sens que ce n’est pas assez pour moi, un jour je voudrai aussi être ministre !" Miss Kamla, comme on l’appelle ici, est une femme forte et inspirante. Elle dirige plus de 100 personnes dans son entreprise de pierres naturelles et surtout, c’est l’unique businesswoman dans ce secteur de l’économie. Seul bémol, le travail prend tellement de place que l’équilibre est délicat avec la vie privée: "je rate beaucoup d’évènements familiaux, des dîners, des anniversaires… Cela me rend triste parfois car je veux chérir mes proches, mais je veux aussi être ici, c’est ma place ! C’est très difficile d’être équitable entre la maison et l’entreprise."
Dans son classement annuel sur la parité hommes-femmes dans le monde, le Forum économique mondial classe Oman à la 133e place sur 144, mais devant de nombreux pays arabes : Jordanie, Liban, Iran, Arabie saoudite, Syrie, Pakistan et Yémen. "En aucun cas, Oman n'est la référence en matière de droits des femmes dans le monde, mais par rapport aux pays du Moyen-Orient environnants, Oman est aussi inclusif que possible." explique la revue internationale Geopolitical Monitor. "Il est également important de mentionner certains des droits qui manquent aux femmes à Oman. Bien que la loi fondamentale interdise la discrimination fondée sur le sexe, la loi sur le statut personnel d'Oman est régie par la charia en ce qui concerne les femmes musulmanes. Les hommes ont le dessus dans la loi sur le statut personnel qui contrôle l'héritage, le mariage, le divorce et la garde des enfants."
Les Nations Unies, et leur comité sur l'élimination de toutes les formes de discrimination à l'égard des femmes, surveillent de près les légères avancées pour la vie des femmes arabes, mais pressent aussi les autorités à gommer les nombreuses lacunes : seulement 0,4% des femmes possèdent des terres dans le Sultanat, elles sont encore trop peu nombreuses à tous les niveaux de prise de décisions (15,3% de femmes au Conseil d’État, 3,5 dans les conseils municipaux, 25% dans l’appareil judiciaire, 7,2% des services diplomatiques), "et par le manque de mesures concrètes pour remédier aux causes profondes de l’absence des femmes aux postes de prise de décisions, notamment les attitudes sociales et culturelles prédominantes" dit le comité.
Miss Kamla, elle, est heureuse de ce qu’elle a réussi à construire et est heureuse de partager son expérience pour doper les femmes, leur donner force et confiance : "Je suis fière de partager mon expérience car en parlant de moi, je parle aussi de la situation des femmes à Oman en général. La femme est un cadeau pour l’homme : la femme donne la vie, la femme sait construire une maison,… Toutes les femmes sont fortes partout dans le monde. Le reste est juste une question de culture."
En sillonnant le pays, en quittant la capitale pour le désert, les villages et la montagne, nous avons été marqués par l’absence des femmes dans les rues, par leur timidité et leur extrême pudeur quand nous souhaitions les rencontrer. Alors le beau message de Kamla ne peut que favoriser les femmes d’ici et d’ailleurs : "Sois forte, n’aie pas peur, ne sois pas timide et sois heureuse."
Source : rtbf.be
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