News & Views

Syrian First Lady calls for political reforms during int’l women business forum

Syrian First Lady calls for political reforms during int’l women business forum

The Women in Business International Forum 2005, hosted by Damascus, resumed its deliberations Sunday morning with the participation of Syrian First Lady, Asma al-Assad.

The deliberations focused on some of the ideas proposed at the opening of the forum Saturday. For her part, Sheikha Hissa al-Subah, chairperson of the Arab Businesswomen Council, discussed her own experience since the foundation of the council in the early nineties of the last century and the aims which were focused on the necessity for encouraging women for work in the economic sphere.

Sheikha al-Subah pointed out to the protocols and agreements, which were signed by her council with numerous Arab and foreign establishments with the aim of enhancing the woman’s role in economic and cultural activities, globalization and equality between men and women in all spheres, the official SANA news agency reported.

Member of the European Parliament, Beatrice Perry underlined the importance of the forum and considered it an “important step” on the way that would lead women to equality and absolute respect, a change to which the businesswomen have contributed to in various countries.

A number of ideas were also proposed on the role of information and the media in projecting the women’s important role in the development of society.

Several ideas were proposed on founding a real advertising industry, based on the management of the product and presentation of such a product to the consumer.

he second day of the forum, which is held for the first time outside its headquarters in London, covered issues pertaining to international regulations and global trade, developing business with environmental benefits, the science of public relations and developments in healthcare.

On Saturday, Syria’s First Lady, Asma Al Assad, said Syria needs to introduce political and institutional reforms to attract foreign investments necessary for the economy to flourish.

“Syria is shaping its business environment for today’s global economy. This means major change at a sustainable pace, introducing the reforms necessary for a dynamic and prosperous enterprise economy,” she told delegates attending the women’s conference.

Asma, a former financial analyst, said the conference provides “an important platform for the exchange of ideas and the debate of pressing issues affecting women all over the world”.

The two-day forum aims at activating the role of women in society. Over 2,000 delegates from over 40 countries, including the United States, are attending the Damascus conference.

Asma said Syria stands at a crossroads on its own development path and faces “the complex but not insurmountable challenge of creating a sustainable and prosperous future for all its citizens”.

She said the active participation of women in this process is imperative.

“It’s only through partnerships that we can close the gaps which exist as barriers to much needed progress,” the Syrian First Lady said.

Despite some progress already made, Asma said Syria needed more far-reaching political and institutional reforms.

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