Challenges facing Arab women in the work sector will be the central theme of the first annual conference of the Qatari Women’s Pen Forum (Multaqa Qalam al Mar’athil Qatariyya), to be held on March 8 this year to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The forum was set up in October last year under Katara – the Cultural Village to bring together Qatari women scholars, writers and intellectuals and pool their talents, knowledge and experience.
Academics and researchers from Qatar and across the Arab world will attend the first annual conference of the forum.
The conference aims to highlight the role of women in public life and identify the challenges they face in the job sector. It will also explore new horizons for empowerment of Arab women, Katara has said in a statement.
Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, general manager of Katara, said they strive to provide an opportunity for experts and researches - through the conference - to discuss issues related to Arab women and exchange views and ideas for strengthening the role of Qatari and Arab women in various fields.
He added that that the conference would discuss different topics concerning Qatari and Arab women and come up with proposals to enable their increased participation in social and economic life.
Dr al-Sulaiti stressed that Qatar “is among the leading nations in women’s empowerment, helping them play an ideal role in society and civilization”.
The conference will be divided into three sessions.
The first session will focus on the impact of internal and foreign politics in the Arab world on the nature of women’s work, women’s role in society and the role of laws and ideologies in the work sector with relation to women. It will have Dr Yousuf Mohamed Obaidan, Dr Hassa al-Sulaiti, Dr Hassan Abdul Raheem al-Sayed and Sheikha Hassa Khalifa al-Thani as the speakers. Dr Ibrahim al-Nuaimi will chair the session.
The second session will try to identify the characteristics differentiating the Arab society from other societies and the social and economic factors influencing women’s work and employment in the region. It will have a panel of speakers, including Dr Johaina Sultan al-Eisa, Dr Adila Mohamed al-Tayeb, Dr Khulsum Ali al-Ghanim and Dr Sharifa Khalfan. Dr Hayat Kharmazi will chair the session.
The third session will explore new horizons for women empowerment in terms of public and social work and on the professional level, especially in the light of rapid and wide-ranging technological advancement. It will hear from Dr Hayat al-Omari, Dr Nouria al-Iwadi and Mansour Ahmed al-Saadi. Samia Hassan Ahmed will preside over the session.
Dr al-Sulaiti will attend the opening session, along with Aisha al-Mannai, chairperson of the forum, and Dr Faiza al-Khurafi as the guest of honour.
There will be an exhibition on the sidelines of the conference featuring the achievements and contributions of pioneering Qatari women in various fields, especially women who entered the job sector at an early age and served as teachers, nurses, doctors and even as ministers.
The forum had earlier announced plans to set up a databank to document the achievements of Qatari women in order to preserve them for the future generations.