This selection marks a crucial step towards expanding economic opportunities for women in MENA
Alongside the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, Education For Employment’s (EFE) signature initiative expanding opportunities for women across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), titled the ‘Global Women’s Inclusion Initiative,’ has announced Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, UAE, Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), as their first and only Honorary Patron for Global Women’s Inclusion.
The announcement was made recently during EFE’s reception, that saw the participation of NAMA, in New York City to announce the launch of the initiative.
Under Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi’s patronage and support, the EFE Global Women’s Inclusion Initiative aims to reach over 10,000 young women across the MENA region by 2020 through EFE’s distinctive skills training and job placement programmes, as well as career pathways and entrepreneurship support.
The evening seen the participation of Ron Bruder, EFE Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors and Mariam Farag, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for MBC Group, and brought together over 70 renowned individuals, including leaders and influencers active in the field of women’s empowerment, workforce development, education and MENA–USA relations, as well as prominent board members and executives from EFE’s global network. The evening highlighted the successes of the Jeel Initiative, a collaboration between EFE and the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) – a NAMA affiliate – as a model for women’s economic inclusion, and overviewed how the new Global Women’s Inclusion Initiative will further bolster NAMA’s and EFE’s efforts in the field of women’s employment and empowerment across MENA.
Addressing the audience HE Ameera BinKaram, Vice-Chairperson of NAMA, Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council, and Advisory Board Member of EFE-UAE, highlighted EFE’s commitment to helping women with limited opportunity to build their skills through professional training linked to tangible jobs or follow-up support. In a compelling statement, Binkaram said, “Dedicating her life to women’s emancipation and development, HH Sheikha Jawaher has been an ardent propagator of women-focused issues for the past 30 years. Under her leadership, NAMA’s mandate is to develop opportunities for women in the economic, professional and social sectors. Her Highness launched in 2015 the Jeel pilot programme that helped a shortlisted 38 talented women as a starting point and unleashed their economic potential. With tonight’s announcement, we reaffirm our full commitment to carry this torch forward, covering the entire emirate of Sharjah and other geographical areas. As the EFE Global Women’s Inclusion Initiative’s Honorary Patron, HH Sheikha Jawaher will continue to lead the way as we expand on the potential of women and raise awareness about their role as an indispensable resource for the development of every nation.”
“Through the JEEL Initiative, NAMA and EFE have helped women with limited opportunity to unlock their potential as business and community leaders. It is our honour to build on this track record of successful collaboration to support young women across the Middle East and North Africa in using economic opportunity to create a positive future for themselves, their communities, and society”, BinKaram added, highlighting the significant strides NAMA and SBWC have made in creating new jobs in geographical areas which are underdeveloped and insulated from market outreach.
Honoured by Sheikha Jawaher’s acceptance and support, Ron Bruder, the Founder of EFE and the Chair of its Board of Directors, said, “With Her Highness’ leadership as Patron for Women’s Inclusion, EFE will scale up and innovate to reach our goal of enabling tens of thousands of women to engage in their economies and societies in the MENA region, including in Sharjah, under Her Highness’ patronage.”
Emphasizing EFE’s belief that women are engines who can drive positive change in entire communities, Bruder stated that, “Education For Employment’s founding conviction is simple: with the right skills and tangible opportunities, youth – especially young women – can thrive. We see this each day in the tens of thousands of young women who we have linked to jobs, startup support or pathways to employment. They demonstrate that with economic opportunity, women transform their own lives and uplift their families and communities. We are honored to expand this impact under the visionary patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi.”
From her side, Mariam Farag said: “I am proud to be work involved within an international organization that works hard to train and develop the professional skills for youth in the Middle East. During the past years, EFE I witnessed many different programs and successful initiatives that positively impacted the creation of job opportunities for the youth.”
Mariam added: “In the Middle East we face a real challenge in the unemployment case for different social communities. I am sure that with the presence of some designated persons like Her Highness who support the human development and professional programs like what EFE present we can together transform the youth to a new yet better level in their professional life.
The Women’s Inclusion Initiative in MENA affirms that women possess immense potential as a human resource, and can contribute significantly and in equal proportion to the male population, not only through engaging as business owners and employees that fuel a nation’s economy, but also as drivers of change in the all-important global discourse on women’s emancipation and advancement.