Thursday, October 04, 2007

Distinguished Women in International Affairs series: Women in the Arab World: Law and Practice

Featured Speakers: Her Excellency Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa

Her Excellency Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, president of the United Nations General Assembly, was the featured speaker of George Washington University’s first seminar on Distinguished Women in International Affairs. Her Excellency’s main focus was the comparison of five Arab countries stance on women’s rights and the problems hindering the widespread adoption of more progressive policies. She focused on Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Tunisia, and Morocco, citing Tunisia to be the most progressive of the five.

Her Excellency commented on several factors that have prohibited women empowerment. These factors include the lack of awareness of women’s rights within the Islamic framework and Islamic tribal traditions; the publicity given to religious movements against women’s rights; the government’s non-interference in domestic affairs, including spousal abuse; gender hierarchies and the inability of women’s involvement in land affairs, and the lack of women engaged in the science and technology fields.

In order to further women’s rights, Her Excellency said that education is the best solution. The 20th century has seen an increase in the numbers of women’s schools in the region, and she hopes to see this trend continue into the future.

Sponsor: George Washington’s Elliott School of International Affairs

Location: The Elliot School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW, City View Room, 7th Floor, Washington, DC.

Date: Friday, September 7, 2007

Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm

Approximate Number of Attendees: 125

Intern Attending: Keely Foutch

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