Dubai, UAE; 17 February 2020: Women should be given the opportunity to design and define their success in society and should not be compared to men, an accomplished scientist and academician told the audience at the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 on Monday.
Speaking in a ‘Game-Changer’ session, organised as part of the Forum to showcase inspiring personal stories from women who have made great strides across various industries, Dr. Rana Dajani, one of the most influential female scientists in the Islamic World, said: “Ideas of success are very male designed and are spreading around the world without asking women what they really want.”
Dr. Dajani, who began her session by showcasing five different scarves to explain the different roles in her life, said: “I wear five scarves which are a symbol of the different roles I play in life. I’m a mother of four children, which is the most important role I play to bring up good citizens, I’m an educator, and a molecular cell biologist studying trauma on our bodies.”
“I’m also a social entrepreneur. I started a programme called ‘We Love Reading’ which encourages children to read for fun,” she said, as she showed the audience another coloured scarf. “Many children don’t read around the world because their parents don’t read aloud to them, so through this programme, we hope to bring up a generation of change makers,” she said, adding that the programme began in Jordan and has now spread to 55 countries.
As for the fifth scarf, which she wears as a feminist, she said she narrates her story in a book titled Five Scarves: Doing the Impossible—If We Can Reverse Cell Fate, Why Can’t We Redefine Success?
In her session, Dr. Dajani pointed out that many reports are not able to explain why there are less women in the workforce compared to men. Generally, it is attributed to the lack of educated females, which is incorrect, she said.
“We need to look at implicit attitudes in different cultures and question gender gap index measurements and call for more research. We are doing something right in the Arab world in terms of STEM education for females and other parts of the world can learn from us,” she added.
Highlighting common issues faced by women, Dr. Dajani explained that family dynamics and children are the reasons women leave the workforce.
“We need to also look at the root causes because we assume we know what women want in a society. We need to shift to asking them what they really want and they could want different things,” she added.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) was formed on 1 January, 1992, by a decree issued by the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum to merge Dubai Electricity Company and Dubai Water Department, which had been operating independently before then. Both organisations were established by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1959. Dubai Government fully supported the Electricity Company and the Water Department to provide Dubai’s citizens and residents with a continuous and reliable supply of electricity and water. Since then, DEWA has made considerable achievements, to be ranked as one of the best utilities in the world. DEWA provides services today to more than 900,000 customers with a happiness rate that reached 95% in 2018.
The UAE, represented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has maintained its first global ranking, for the third consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. The report measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies around the world. DEWA achieved competitive results in global benchmarking, surpassing the private sector and major European and American utilities in efficiency and reliability. DEWA raised the efficiency of its energy production by using the latest technologies and adopting technological innovations, surpassing European and American utilities, by reducing losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6–7% in the US and Europe. DEWA also achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world of 2.39 CML compared to 15 minutes in Europe and was also able to reduce water network losses to 6.5% in 2018 compared to 15% in North America, which is one of the best results in the world.