Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) welcomed more than 200 members of the community to an event celebrating International Women’s Day.
Organised by HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, in collaboration with Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), “My Voice, My Future” featured a panel discussion with five prominent Qatari women from varied professional backgrounds.
The event was attended by foreign and Qatari dignitaries, including HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, former Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dutch ambassador Yvette Burghgraef-van Eechoud, French ambassador Eric Chevallier, Palestinian ambassador Munir Ghannam, Spanish ambassador Ignacio Escobar, Belgian ambassador Christophe Payot and HBKU president Dr Ahmad Hasnah.
The event aimed to highlight the success stories and challenges faced by women in Qatar and around the world, with panelists sharing their personal experiences and offering messages of empowerment with the assembled audience.
In her welcome address, Dr Amal al-Malki, founding dean of HBKU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “There is an evident increase in the number of women joining professions that were previously male dominated: women entrepreneurs, women journalists, women doctors, women engineers and much more. But we are more than numbers; behind each number is a unique story that speaks volumes about the woman and her social and economic context.”
Noor al-Malki, executive director, DIFI, said, “Sometimes women in our society are reluctant to express themselves for various reasons. This reluctance can prompt others to presume our feelings, concerns and priorities, and act on this misunderstanding on our behalf. Women must play a role in correcting these presumptions by expressing their views, concerns and aspirations clearly, using all available means to do so.”
The event invited five prominent Qatari women to share their stories with those in attendance: Dr Kholode al-Obaidli, former vice president, Qatar Airways; Aysha al-Mudahka, CEO, Qatar Business Incubation Centre; Dr Asma al-Fadhala, director, World Innovation Summit for Education; Hanadi al-Darwish, artist and director, Visual Arts Centre at the Ministry of Culture and Sports; and Tahani al-Hajri, columnist.
Reem al-Harmi, well-known Qatari columnist, moderated the discussion.
Panelists stressed the important role women played in helping achieve the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the need for all segments of society to work together in the service of the country.
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