London – MENA Herald: The Arab British Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with London & Partners and Regent’s University, has honored Shahla Ahmed Abdul Razak, Deputy CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) at the Arab Women of the Year Awards 2015 for her outstanding achievements in trade development.
Supported by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, the prestigious event was held in the British capital in the presence of Deputy Mayor of London, Lady Borwick as well as Arab businesswomen and envoys.
Speaking on the achievement, Shahla Abdul Razak, Deputy CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: “Women in the United Arab Emirates have significantly grown and advanced across fields and sectors and preceded women around the world with the support received from the UAE leadership to play an integral role in politics as well as in driving the national economy growth. I am grateful to the UAE leadership for their untiring efforts at encouraging women to take up leadership roles and to play their natural role in line with the country’s strategic and sustainable goals.”
She added: “Women constitute a critical component of the diverse human resources within the government sector where 68 percent of government positions are led by women, surpassing global ratios that amount to 48 percent. Furthermore, over 30 percent of the top management positions within the government and federal entities are held by Emirati women. With such a framework, women have become an essential element in all sectors, including judiciary offices, public prosecution offices and forensic offices as well as civil and military aviation and the police force.”
Shahla highlighted how Emirati women have today surpassed the empowerment phase and entered the phase of equality where positions that were traditionally held by only male candidates are now – for the first time in the region – being assigned to female representatives, such as Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council.
She pointed out that in addition, seven women members were elected to key positions in the recent Federal National Council elections, from a total of 40 elected representatives – making up 22 percent. Furthermore, four women have been assigned a ministerial seat, yet again marking the highest female representation in the Arab world.
The percentage of women contributing to economic development following the establishment of the UAE Business Women’s Council has steadily grown, taking the number of enrollees in the Chambers of Commerce and Industry to more than 22,000 businesswomen across the local and global markets, managing approximately about 25,000 economic and commercial projects with investments amounting to almost AED45 billion.
Some of the other winners included Her Excellency Sheikha May bint Mohammed Al Khalifa for her exceptional work in culture and education as well as the Arab artist and role model Majida Al Roumi for her unique contribution to the music industry. Al Roumi has dedicated her award to the women of the Arab world who continue to suffer great hardships in Syria, Yemen and Libya.