24th October 2013
Federal Foreign Office, Berlin
(German-Arab simultaneous translation)
“The Arab women supported the revolution and now they justly claim their right to be involved in framing what happens next.", with these words Dr. Kristina Schröder, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, inaugurated the 2nd German-Arab Women's Network Forum which took place on the 24th of October 2013 and was organized by the EMA (Euro-Mediterranean Association for Cooperation and Development e.V.).
This joint conference of the EMA, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce gathered more than 300 participants from Germany and many Arab states in the prestigious halls of the Federal Foreign Office.
The event, which was also opened by the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Guido Westerwelle and the Tunisian Minister of Women's Affairs, H.E. Sihem Badi, focused in particular on issues of the economic empowerment. After all, it is part of the EMA philosophy to perceive women as key to sustainable development: "Women are not yet sufficiently considered in the German-Arab Cooperation and therefore the EMA aims to highlight diverse potentials of cooperation and similarities of women in facing common difficulties."
In order to achieve this goal, an open dialogue was sought by high-level speakers, amongst others Mrs. Reem Asaad (Head of Private Banking, Investments, Saudi Fransi Capital Co., Saudi Arabia), Mrs. Nouzha Skalli (MEP, member of the Party of Progress and Socialism, Family Minister (retired), Morocco) and Mrs. Ibtisam Ben Amer (founder of the Libyan Women in Business Committee, Libya). Not only the German participants learned a lot about the countries of North Africa and the Middle East but also the foreign guests, originally from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Tunisia, were fascinated by the gained insights.
The conclusion of the exchange: We can learn a lot from each other and Germany has demonstrated to be a reliable partner for the region. As example for the German commitment, the German-Tunisian transformation partnership has been an illuminating especially due to the involvement of projects furthering gender equality, such as the Arab-German mentoring project ouissal.org. In the course of the Forum, Minister Dr. Schröder awarded four of the project’s participants for their extraordinary engagement.
This mentoring project has been launched in autumn 2012 and it will run until the end of 2013. An extension in the context of the transformation partnership is currently under consideration. In fact, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Guido Westerwelle, emphasized not only the great work done by the EMA but also described women as “very important contact persons for us". Therefore, Germany will continue to support the women in the Arab world.
For more information please visit the ouissal website