The inaugural edition of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS 2017) opens on Monday in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah.
The two-day event is being held at Sharjah’s Expo Centre under the patronage of his wife, Her Highness Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment.
Themed “Women Excelling in the Economy”, the summit will feature leaders, experts on women’s economic empowerment and 1,000-plus participants who will come together to discuss ways to enhance gender-responsive procurement, female entrepreneurship opportunities and women’s integration into global economies.
WEEGS 2017 will put a spotlight on the ways governments, private sectors, international organisations and civil society can work together to make value chains work for women, enable the full participation of women-owned enterprises in value chains, create decent jobs for women, and provide equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs locally and globally, according to a statement from NAMA.
Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA, said: “Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a priority throughout the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the summit reflects major efforts towards furthering that. Through the event, we seek to provide a unique platform for participants to share best practices and place a focus on defining promising economic opportunities for women within each sector.”
“WEEGS 2017 emphasises the fundamental role of the UAE in the development of women regionally and internationally, and will be a significant milestone in clearly demarcating the lines of the women’s empowerment road map that the world needs to commit to in order for us to fulfil the 2030 SDGs,” BinKaram added.
Government policies and legislations
During the two days at WEEGS 2017, the topics discussed will seek to influence the global decision-making process and shape global policies to advance women in the economy. From the pivotal role that government policies and legislations play in furthering gender equity; the collaboration of private and public sector in enhancing competitiveness of female-owned enterprises through gender-responsive procurement; bridging the gap between women and funding opportunities; the use of 21st century digital technologies to enhance female-owned businesses; the need to end gender-based violence in public and private life; and more will be highlighted during the summit’s 20 panel sessions.
Part of these discussions will be an exclusive women-only panel session titled, “Emirati Women: Potential & Possibilities”, which will focus on furthering the UAE’s efforts to empower local women and enhance their contributions by creating a more enabling economy and society. Another panel session titled, “Driving WEPs Implementation: From Promise to Practice”, will offer companies an opportunity to officially sign up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and showcase success stories of signatories who have successfully implemented them.
Over 70 key speakers, including senior figures, ministers, heads of local and international organisations, global experts and entrepreneurs, thought leaders and activists will attend the summit.