Mona Al Marri: The ‘YES!’ programme is a reflection of both the UAE and Nordic countries’ commitment to enhance the vital contribution of talented women to national progress and development.
Henrik Landerholm: The UAE and the Nordic countries share the understanding that women’s active participation in the workforce is crucial for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, and key to fulfilling Agenda 2030.
Dubai, UAE; 17 February 2020: Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) and the Nordic Embassies in the UAE have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 today. The MoU was signed by Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board and Managing Director of DWE, and His Excellency Henrik Landerholm, Ambassador of Sweden to the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Nordic embassies.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Carl Mörner, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission, Swedish Embassy; Ambassador Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Danish Embassy; Finnish Ambassador Marianne Nissilä and Siri Borgen, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission, Norwegian Embassy.
The two-day GWFD 2020, held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, concluded on 17 February.
Reflecting the UAE and Nordic countries’ shared belief that women’s active participation in the workforce is crucial for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, the partnership has been established to launch a new mentorship scheme, ‘YES!’, for young female professionals and entrepreneurs. The initiative will provide support to promising Emirati career women from both the public and private sectors, through mentorship with senior Nordic business executives.
The ‘YES!’ mentorship programme will run for one year, with participation from 20 mentors and mentees. The initiative features two joint gatherings, to take place during 2020 and 2021, which will
provide opportunities for mentees to benefit from knowledge-exchange, networking opportunities and leadership training. In March 2021, during the Expo thematic week on Women and Girls, the ‘YES!’ mentees will graduate during a joint DWE-Nordic ceremony at the Swedish Pavilion in Expo 2020.
Commenting on the partnership, Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, said: “We are proud to be collaborating with the Nordic Embassies in the UAE to provide valuable support to young female Emirati professionals, as part of ongoing efforts to foster the next generation of women leaders. The ‘YES!’ programme is a reflection of both the UAE and Nordic countries’ commitment to enhance the vital contribution of talented women to national progress and development, which is also at the heart of what we’re aiming to achieve through a range of discussions and debate among the world’s leading thinkers and experts at Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020.”
H.E. Henrik Landerholm, added: “I am very honoured to represent Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway from the Nordic countries and sign the partnership agreement with Dubai Women Establishment. Nordic countries have for a century been champions in enhancing women’s rights and also enabling women as human beings with equal rights to be all they can be. Hence, we have experienced an impressive row of female leaders – prime ministers and ministers, parliamentarians and believe it or not, even some female generals and several police commissioners.”
“The UAE and its leadership have shown women’s role in society over the last 50 years. The news this morning that the UAE is weighing the option of pro-longing parental leave even further, and to extend it also to men, is just one of many signs of this commitment. The UAE and the Nordic countries share the understanding that women’s active participation in the workforce is crucial for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, and key to fulfilling Agenda 2030,” he continued.
The collaboration follows the joint seminar, “Women in the Workspace: UAE and Nordic Perspectives” hosted by DWE and the Danish Embassy in the UAE, in December 2019. The session gathered ambassadors, professionals and young female entrepreneurs from Nordic countries and the UAE to discuss best practices in achieving gender balance in the workplace.