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Women in the Gulf: Economic Empowerment and Beyond

  • Dr. Amal Mohammed Al-Malki
  • Dr. Alanoud Al-Sharekh
  • Dr. Shayma Fawwaz
  • Crystal Ennis
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA The Hague

Women in the Gulf: Economic Empowerment and Beyond

All six Gulf Arab states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, are committed to moving their countries away from hydrocarbon dependency towards economic diversity in line with ambitious national visions. Women in the Gulf will be critical to not only helping their countries achieve the goals of each vision, but also playing an instrumental role in transforming national economies and beyond. The panellists will explore whether state-sponsored feminism, as embedded in the different visions, helps or hinders women in contributing to national transformation. The panel will discuss whether the emphasis on attracting more foreign investment and job creation in the Arabian Gulf is shaping the “inclusion” of women in the corporate and private sector. It will further consider the legal and social issues that remain resistant to giving Gulf women equal opportunities in the workplace. The speakers will also identify the obstacles that women in the Gulf must overcome to reach positions of leadership, including key institutions, which are responsible for changing narratives around the issue of gendered leadership, and how best to tackle them. This will include consideration of how the media and academia shape conversations on empowerment and how this differs across GCC states.




Dr. Amal Mohammed Al-Malki
Dr. Amal Mohammed Al-Malki is the Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Translation and Interpreting Institute, which she founded in 2011. She was also an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar where she taught courses in writing composition, postcolonial literature, theories of translation and Islamic feminism. Dr. Al-Malki holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of London-SOAS. Dr. Al-Malki’s research interests include the negotiation of identity between East and West, media representations of Arab women and postcolonial literature.


Dr. Alanoud Al-Sharekh
Dr. Alanoud Al-Sharekh is the Director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy leading the Empowering Kuwaiti Women in Politics training program, and the founding chairwoman of the Chaillot awarding winning Abolish 153 campaign to end honor killing legislations in Kuwait and the region. Her research won the Arab Prize for best publication in a foreign journal in 2014, and includes books such as The Gulf Family, and Popular and Political Cultures of the Arabian Gulf States, examining the persistent importance of family and tribe in modern Gulf politics and society. She was awarded the knighthood of the National Order of Merit by the French Government in 2016 for her dedication to improving women rights in the region. She is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, Research Fellow at AGSIW and Research Associate at LMEI, SOAS.


Dr. Shayma Fawwaz
Dr. Shayma Fawwaz is founder and CEO of GOSSIP The Brand, launched in 2013 to deliver an array of new tastes, innovative services and ground-breaking style with Emirati influences to the region. She holds a PhD in Genetics from the George Washington University, and previously worked at the Children National Medical Center. She also holds an EMBA from the London Business School. Dr Fawwaz brought her expertise back to the UAE to assist in supporting the government by managing international healthcare facilities and the enhancement of their services to diminish the need for UAE citizens to travel abroad for optimal healthcare. She was previously Vice President for Healthcare at Mubadala Investment Company and the Director of International Investments for the Dubai International Financial Center.



Dr. Crystal Ennis

Dr. Crystal Ennis is a scholar of Global Political Economy whose current work examines the political economy of dependence on hydrocarbon revenue and foreign labour in Gulf economies. She has projects on migration governance between South Asia and the Gulf, Omani youth in the labour market, unemployment & entrepreneurship in Gulf economies, Gulf-Asia relations, and rising powers. Crystal received her PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada where she was trained in the fields of Global Governance and Global Political Economy. She has worked at Leiden University since 2014 where she teaches in International Relations and Middle East studies programmes. Crystal’s publications have appeared in New Political Economy, Global Social Policy, Third World Quarterly, and the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, among others.


Sponsored by the Chatham House - The Royal Institute of International Affairs

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