Arab Women as Main Partners in Sustainable Development

11/11/2008 to 11/13/2008

Under the auspices of Her Excellency Mrs. Leila Ben Ali

Awo's 3rd conference aimed at raising awareness on the different dimensions of sustainable development and setting an Arab vision regarding the required future level of women participation in such development.

Her Excellency/ Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh

Her Excellency/ Lulwa Saleh Al Awadi

Her Excellency/ Sara Kanoun Garraya

Her Excellency/ Nouara Sadia Djaffar

Her Excellency/ Samia Ahmed Mohamed

Dr. Bushra Kanafani

Prof. Fadia Kiwan

The Director General of Arab Women Organization (AWO)

Professor Farkhonda Hassan

Professor Wadouda Badran

Mrs. Tahani Aljibali

Head of the Scientific Team

Dr. Bahgat Qurani

The concept of development has raised debates and discussions at all levels both in theory and practice; was approached and studied from many political, economic and social perspectives, which varied according to the applied scientific methodology.One the most important definitions describes development as a process of transferring societies from a lower to a better level in society.

Hence, the concept of development can either be as a traditional or as a more advanced approach. While the traditional concept of development focuses on the economic side and the rule of the market, many voices, due to the inadequacy of this concept, called for the necessity to expand the concept of development to include additional objectives and dimensions to economic goals like fulfilling the needs of individuals, increasing investment in human resources capacity building and the intervention of other parties such as the State and civil society and the growing role of women.

Within the context of the changes put forward, a number of central issues and questions arise, such as:

  • What is the development we actually need?
  • How can we achieve a real and comprehensive development between regions, generations and gender?

Interaction with these changes raised awareness during the last decade of the last century, awareness of the human value as goals and means in comprehensive development. The term human development imposed itself on the economic and political discourse at the international level. The United Nations Development Programme and its annual human development reports play an important role in the dissemination and consolidation of this term . At the same time, the issue of the natural environmental capital preservation for future generations emerged. Within the context of these transformations, the features of sustainable development as a concept became clear through the identification of a close relationship between the economy and the environment and upon recognition that the economic productivity cycle does not represent in any way a "closed system" governed by quantitative criteria only, but it represents also a group of components and outputs based on the interdependence between the environmental capital – industrial capital - and human capital.

Sustainable development materialized as a concept during the ten years subsequent to the Earth Summit in 1992 and focused on human, social, political, cultural, and environmental aspects, paying greater attention to the quality of life and the preservation of environment, as well as the participation of individuals and groups in civil and political life.

Hence the importance of this subject becomes evident as being one of the main concerns of the Arab Women Organization which crosscuts all its programmes and areas of work. With the findings and conclusions reached by the survey studies and the recommendations of its first and second conferences, this concept was integrated into the universal emphasis on women human rights, expressed by the various international conferences, starting from the First Global Conference on Women (Mexico 1975) to the Fourth Conference (Beijing 1995) and the follow-up reflected in the Beijing Platform for Action and follow up evaluations (Beijing +5 and Beijing +10) which confirmed the right of all women in development as main and effective partners. The AWO Third Conference on Arab Women and Sustainable Development provides an opportunity for addressing these issues in-depth and confirming these strategic orientations.

Conference Objectives

  • Raising awareness of the dimensions of sustainable development as a concept; and regarding its priority components as essential to the preservation of rights, equality and justice among individuals and generations.
  • Formulating an Arab vision on the participation of women in sustainable development.
  • Establishing the principle of partnership by highlighting the importance of the role of Arab women.
  • Creating a framework for integrating a dimension of sustainable development, taking into account the specific needs of women in urban and rural areas, at the level of planning and programming in all development projects.
  • Confirming the commitment of the Arab Women Organization to contribute positively to achieve sustainable development, both as a goal and as a main course of action

Conference Themes


Redefining Security: From National to Human Security: How Far have Women been taken into Consideration?


Women’s Security: Culture and its Impact


Economic Globalization: How Far and in what Way has it Impacted Women’s Security?


Education and Awareness: The Effective Way to Heighten Women’s Security.


Health /Environmental Issues and Women’s Security


Women’s Security and the Impact of Social Policies


Wars, Conflicts and Women’s Human Security

  • a session introducing the achievements of the Dubai Women Establishment
  • within the framework of the AWO youth program, a working to present the results of a field study which surveyed Attitudes of University Students toward Arab Women Human Security.
  • within the framework of cooperation between AWO and the Arab Labor Organization, a session was devoted to introducing a proposal for the establishment of " Fund for the Employment of Rural Arab Women".

Chairman / President of the Conference Word:

Highness First Ladies Words

Rest of Opening Words

First Session: Arab Women and the Crucial Moments of Change

Session II: Women in Decision-Making Positions

Session III: Activating the Role of Women in the National Economy Trails

Session IV: Women and Peace-Building

Fifth Session: Women in the Face of Violence and Terrorism

Keynote Speakers: