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Kingdom committed to women empowerment — Ghunaimat

Three-day conference at Dead Sea hears of ‘true capabilities, determination of Arab women’

By Rana Husseini - Aug 26,2019 - Last updated at Aug 26,2019

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat speaks during the first day of a three-day conference titled ‘Innovative Approaches to Women's Empowerment’ at the Dead Sea on Monday (Petra photo)

DEAD SEA — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat on Monday said that Jordan, represented by the leadership and the government, is committed to empowering women in all fields.

"Women have been appointed in various decision-making positions in recent years because the leadership and the government strongly believe in the importance of women assuming important positions, which reflects on the legislation related to women," Ghunaimat, who was deputising for Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, said.

The minister's comments were made during a three-day conference titled "Innovative Approaches to Women's Empowerment" that is being attended by over 160 participants from countries of the region and the United States.

This meeting reflects the "true capabilities and determination of Arab women and is an important opportunity to demonstrate success stories that will inspire the future generation", Ghunaimat told the participants.

The Programme Director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the US Department of State Rita Stephan also addressed the gathering and praised the Jordanian government's commitment in empowering women.

"This is a historic meeting for women of this region, which will surely work towards strengthening women's representation in the political and economic arenas," Stephan said.

The Women as Partners in Progress (WPP) conference, which is being held at the Hilton Dead Sea Convention Centre until Wednesday, will hold panels from each partner organisation, highlighting their accomplishments and the results of their contributions to the empowerment of women in their countries.

Over 150 activists and leaders are gathering at the Dead Sea to discuss the outcome of a two-year project that focused on increasing women leaders' knowledge of gender roles and women's rights in Jordan, Morocco, and Kuwait.

The event is being organised by the Gibran Chair at the University of Maryland (GCUM) as part of the WPP initiative. It aims to identify and advance key issues that affect women's daily lives and to amplify the voices of women leaders in the three countries, according to a statement by the WPP. 

The WPP, which started in late 2017 and is a project funded by MEPI, aims to promote women's leadership and gender-inclusive policies working with partners in Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait, according to the WPP statement.

In addition to the three delegations from Jordan, Morocco, and Kuwait, representatives from six other Arab countries are also attending, including Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and the West Bank and Gaza, the WPP statement added. 

Director of the GCUM May Rihani said during the opening session that “what brought us together today is a vision and a determination. The vision of equality between women and men and the determination that each one of us will continue to contribute to this process of ensuring equal human rights”.

“When we discuss women’s rights, women’s aspirations and women’s empowerment, we are really discussing societal issues based on a vision of social justice. A vision whereby equal economic, social and cultural rights are provided for all the citizens of a nation regardless of their gender,” Rihani stressed. 

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