“Women need to come together. We are mothers, we are women, come together. We are one.”
(Dr. Hissah Saad Al-Sabah)
Understanding in your heart that too often prejudice and stereotype interfere with us seeing what is really happening came to full light again at the Women’s Economic Forum 2016 in Delhi, India, where Shellie Hunt (Founder and Visionary of The Women of Global Change) and Dr. Natalie Forest (Executive Director for The Women of Global Change) presented, shared, learned and connected with servant leaders from numerous countries.
There are so many publicly shared stereotypes about women, not to mention women in Arab countries. The Women of Global Change are consistently working to create and establish new and powerful images of women as leaders and supports women across the globe in their pursuits of personal, communal and world-wide development.
This is why WGC is especially honored and humbled to have connected the President of the Council of Arab Business Women, The High Princess Dr. Hissah Saad Al-Sabah, a true trailblazer on a mission “to create closer links and cooperation and coordination in various economic sectors to achieve Arab economic integration to achieve the following objectives: Development and strengthening of economic relations between Arab businesswomen.” (Www.abwoc.org).
Hearing the President speak Monday evening was eye-opening for many in the audience. Subsequent presentations by the President and her delegation were confirming the message: women in Arab countries are coming together, having their own businesses, supporting one-another and are living their dreams – more often than not supported by men.
In our conversation with the President she explained how this council of 22 Arab Nations is similar to the idea of the Arab league and growing purposely. The soft spoken Dr. Hissah Saad Al-Sabah shared how, after 14 years of having been outside of Kuwait, studying and graduating fro college, she returned to realize she did not have local friends after all that time. Yet, she wanted to be home and wanted to make friends. To do so she created a business, a fashion business with a headquarters and a store through which she began to meet other Kuwaiti women. She was the first woman in Kuwait to open a business and through her action broke the taboo. Since breaking this first barrier she realized that other women wanted the same and she created the council opening a lot of doors for women all across the Arab world. Hearing this, The Women of Global Change mentioned their Gateway Program, their persistent work to help women pursue and reach their dreams all across the world with educational programs and service projects, and the annual summit, which is a one-of-a-kind mastermind service summit.
As we were talking her eyes lid up a number of times and when she mentioned her niece, the love this woman embodies shown through. “it is very gratifying to see how far women have come.” She is now directly mentoring her niece, while supporting the women entrepreneurs all over. Her niece was chosen from 71 companies and ix part of the Young Entrepreneur society as well as the Committee on Business and Economics in the council.
The council consists of 22 Arab countries, with every country having one seat in the council while Egypt has 2 and Kuwait has 2, including the President.
What is even more inspiring is this council is looking to collaborate with women and societies everywhere. Knowing that they have broken the barriers in their countries and that they are economically advancing, this group is now looking to support those less fortunate, The council has also created a self-sufficient village in Egypt , the whole deal from “a to z” as the president explained. Self sustainable through solar energy, including clinics and schools and more. Now they are on a mission to do the same in Northern Africa and the Sudan and to partner with other like-minded people and organizations. Indeed a movement to “bridge stereotypes and understand one another” so that today all members of the council are like family, hoping to extend their family for the best of humanity, which is one of the cornerstones of The Women of Global Change.
This amazing group was hosting a conference in October 2016 that all like-minded individuals are invited to. The Women of Global Change are excited to possibly join this conference as we all connected via a unique bond “Women need to come together. We are mothers, we are women, come together. We are one. “ and that is what WGC has been working for and has been acknowledged for over the past decades. Now we are ready to take it to next level as more women are, indeed, taking leadership and coming together.
For now we, The Women of Global Change, are looking forward to deepening our connect with the High Princess and the Council to explore possibilities to collaborate to BE the change.