In line with recent Saudi reforms, Ivanka Trump on Sunday praised Saudi Arabia for its efforts to empower women by fostering the idea of gender equality after the kingdom changed laws to respect women’s freedom of movement and access to credit and financial services.
Felicitating the kingdom and four other countries in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for implicating significant reforms over the past two years, the adviser to US president while addressing on the first day of Global Women’s Forum in Dubai said that progress ultimately builds upon progress, Arab News reported.
Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump, the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrived in the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. president's daughter is in the UAE ahead of the Global Women's Forum, where she will give a keynote address.— The Voice of America (@VOANews) February 15, 2020
“Bahrain has introduced legislation to prevent discrimination in the workplace; Jordan eliminated legal restrictions on women’s ability to work at night; Morocco expanded women’s land rights; and Tunisia introduced critical laws to combat domestic violence," she said, adding, “We all need to applaud these achievements and advancements. And yet, we won’t grow complacent because there is still so much more work to be done."
Calling attention to the plight of women who continue to face obstacles in entering the workforce, starting their own businesses, reaching their full potential and charting their own future, Ivanka rued on how the women have only half the legal rights of men, yet their economic equality has the potential to add $600 billion to the global annual GDP by 2025.
“This number represents far more than an economic boom,” she said. “It represents millions of lives full of promise, mothers who can provide for their children, daughters who could be the first to graduate high school, and young women who could start businesses and become job creators. This is the future that we can and must achieve together.”
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The US first daughter asked nations in the region to come together to continue to work as a whole to break new ground, to institute changes, legally and culturally, that will give every woman a chance to determine her own destiny and bring greater peace and prosperity to this region and to the world.
“Every woman here today has an incredible story, from brave innovators to bold entrepreneurs that are bringing greater opportunity to their home countries. You are the women who are going to imagine new industries, discover new cures, create works of beauty and improve lives around the world.”
In the World Bank report, Saudi Arabia was ranked 70.6 out of 100 – a 38.8 jump since its last ranking – placing it first among GCC countries and second in the Arab world.
“We have committed to double our corporate sourcing for women-owned firms by 2023,” said David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group.
“We are helping unlock constraints faced by women. There’s still much to do and everyone can play a role.”
The original story appeared on Arab News
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