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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

WEF-Empowerment of Women

Queen Rania participates in a lively dialogue at the World Economic Forum's Extraordinary Annual Meeting addressing vital issues relating to women

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - The Dead Sea) Over 120 Women from around the world engaged in a lively dialogue to address vital issues relating to the participation of women in the social, economic, and political development process.

The session, held as part of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Extraordinary Meeting at the Dead Sea, brought together women activists representing business, social development and economic sectors to create a platform to change mindsets that limit opportunities for women.

Using the media as an empowerment tool towards further involving women and activating their role in building their societies, was a mechanism suggested by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah who participated in the session moderated by Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent, CNN News Group.

Queen Rania, a member of the WEF Foundation Board, focused on education as a vital requirement for change, and stressed that women’s achievements and successes need to be acknowledged. Queen Rania’s participation in the session was part of her ongoing efforts to encourage dialogue between Arab and Western women and empower them on the political and economic levels.

Forty Jordanian women leaders including five of the newly-elected women parliamentarians participated in the session. On the stage were Mrs. Vaira Vike-Friberga, President of Latvia, Maureen Kempston Darkes, Group Vice-President, General Motors, Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Professor, Indonesian Institute for Science, and Elizabeth Cheney, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

The “Empowerment of Women” session was organized by WEF’s Women Leaders Initiative which was developed to foster leadership and integrate women in global dialogue and reinforce efforts to identify , inspire, and encourage women to work together.

Following the session, women participants re-convened over lunch to further explore major themes and issues for effective cross cultural dialogue.

The session, moderated by Maha Khatib, Director General of the Jordan River Foundation, addressed mechanisms to bridge the gap and build channels of communication between women of all cultures.

Queen Rania met with the newly elected women parliamentarians and congratulated them on their achievement.

She noted that having a quota for women is a step in the right direction for changing mindsets and altering the prevailing stereotypes in our societies with regards to women’s role.

After listening to their electoral experiences and the challenges they faced during their campaign, Queen Rania stressed the serious task of winning the trust of the voters that lies on the shoulders of women parliamentarians.

She urged them to focus their energies on long marginalized issues; namely family, women, children, youth an