A joint meeting between Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) and the Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC) was held on Monday to discuss ways of boosting strategic cooperation and coordinating joint action between the two councils. During the meeting, held at SBWC's headquarters in Sharjah, HE Ameera BinKaram, Chairperson of the Board of SBWC and HE Mariam Mohammed Al Rumaithi, EBWC Chairperson outlined some of their programs and strategic partnerships and discussed possible points of collaboration.
HE Ameera BinKaram said, “Cooperation between business women councils in the UAE help empower women economically and professionally and overcome challenges that stand in women's way to fulfill their ambitions and aspirations. Inter-cooperation also contributes to boosting women's effective participation in economic and social life and their contribution to the rapid development of the UAE.”
BinKaram stated that cooperation and consultation with EBWC was important in order to explore potential programs that aim to empower Emirati women professionally and economically. BinKaram outlined a number of projects and initiatives being implemented by the SBWC and called for the establishment of a national registry for businesswomen in the UAE which could be shared by all business women councils in the country. “In this way we can share information and develop programs that will empower and support women’s advancement professionally and economically,” she said.
Speaking about SBWC’s projects, BinKaram highlighted the progress of major initiatives including the "Souq Anwan" in Dibba Al Hisn, which provides opportunities to young entrepreneurs to establish a footing in the business world. She said, through this project, the SBWC has sought to make the most of young talent by honing and developing their skills to help them succeed in their own businesses.
The meeting also touched on the strategic partnerships forged by SBWC with a number of bodies and organizations, including the Italian Academy that resulted in a partnership to develop traditional Emirati crafts. The "Talli" technique is one such craft, which is created by Emirati women involved in the "Bidwa" project that falls under "Irthi" programme launched by SBWC.
“This agreement has enabled Emirati craftswomen to compete globally,” said BinKarem. “The "Bidwa" project emanated from "Irthi" initiative, which aims to empower Emirati women working in traditional crafts and help them in investing their talents in launching enterprises and create high quality products that can compete in regional and global markets. Whilst the "Irthi" initiative serves as a platform to bring together companies and individuals who employ ethical practices in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, to develop their products to meet international standards.
HE Mariam Mohammed Al Rumaithi highlighted the five-year strategic plan adopted by the Emirates Business Women Council from 2015 to 2019 and said, “This five-year plan was developed in line with the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Honorary President of the Emirates Business Women Council. The plan aims to motivate and inspire women to enter into entrepreneurship and empower them in our diversified and sustainable economy. It also aims to develop the abilities of women entrepreneurs and to build their knowledge. The plan also ensures the continued development of EBWC's services as per the latest competitive demands in the job market.”
Al Rumaithi added, “The EBWC is launching an awareness-raising campaign to promote the culture of entrepreneurship to support economic and social development. We also strive to promote the culture of innovation among business women and help them consolidate their businesses, as well as calling for an online database for business women in the UAE.”
Ameera BinKaram and Mariam Al Rumaithi extended their profound thanks to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Honorary Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council for supporting women economically and socially and for their eagerness to launch initiatives that enhance women's participation in economic and social life in the emirates.
During the meeting a four-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed to provide a framework for cooperation and coordination between the two councils, contributing to supporting and empowering Emirati working women economically and professionally and recognizing women’s achievements. Under the MOU, a joint committee will be set up to define the list of priorities regarding projects that both will implement and to discuss joint cooperation between both parties.
Commenting on the MOU, Ameera BinKaram said, “By signing this MOU, we renew our pledge to strengthen joint action with all bodies and organisations in the UAE, particularly business women councils, to unify our efforts and create a motivating work environment that inspires professional women, business women and craftswomen in our mission to achieve the full integration of women into society."
Mariam Al Rumaithi added, “This MOU will boost to our efforts to develop and support women in the finance and business sector in the UAE and promote economic awareness among all members of Emirati society. We hope that the MOU contributes to achieving greater cooperation between the two councils, leading to launching further activities that highlight investment opportunities available for businesswomen, while encouraging women to make use of these opportunities in growing their contribution in entrepreneurship."
The meeting was attended by Olympia Tabash, Secretary General of SBWC, Farida Al Awadhi, Vice-Chairperson of EBWC, Raghda Taryam, Board Member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mariam Nasser Al Suwaidi, Head of Women's Service Section at Sharjah Department of Economic Development, and Hana Ahmed Al Meqbali of the Real Estate Registration Department, as well as a number of members of both councils.
Established in 2002, the Sharjah Business Women’s Council (SBWC) aims to create and enhance the work environment for women as well as train and prepare women to enter the private sector and enhance their participation in social and economic development. To achieve this aim, the SBWC carries out a range programs and activities including conferences, seminars, workshops and research. It also forges partnerships with government and private organisations and foundations in the UAE and beyond.