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MENA Development Partners

www.menapartners.net

MENA Development Partners LLC

Developing successful business relationships in the Middle East.

**NEW - Collaborative research project on fracking.**

Doing Business in the Middle East

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Saudi campaign against domestic violence

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM Comments comments (58)
Photo: King Khalid Foundation

The caption reads: "Some things can't be covered; Fighting women's abuse together."

While I try to keep most of my blog about business issues, occasionally there is something that is so significant that it deserves a few words. Way to go Saudi Arabia! Today the King Khalid Foundation launched a very provocative and very powerful campaign against domestic violence. This is such step forward for the Kingdom. Now does this mean domestic violence will end, no. But at least it acknowledges that it does exist.

However, protecting women and children goes way beyond just starting a campaign. Making sure the issue is really addressed now becomes two-fold. 1.) That the government does set-up the proper channels to make sure that they do help and protect those who are abused. (But please take note, in America and other Western countries, it is commonly claimed & believed that we are stellar in doing this... but believe me, there is nothing stellar about our own systems!!!) and 2.) That women need to SPEAK UP! This will be a huge issue as it goes against the cultural grain of their society as a whole. Many believe that what has been done will be done, so if the cycle is to stop, it is going to mean a lot of change within a culture that has not historically supported women to talk against their husbands or fathers.

We will see how things change and if indeed this is a great step forward for the Saudi women. It is a rocky road ahead of them, but if the change is embraced by the government, Royal family and by the citizens of the Kingdom themselves, it will not be a step forward, it will be a giant leap...Insha'Allah!

Women in Business in the Middle East

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 9:23 PM Comments comments (39)
This particular post makes me a little nervous. As a woman, who has always had a career, I obviously understand how important it is for women to have rights to work, earn money and do whatever needs to be done to support themselves, their children and even sometimes, their husbands. I also respect tradition, culture and above all, religion. In my opinion, there can't be one answer or solution to this very complex issue.

A few weeks ago, the Middle East Excellence Awards Institute honored women in leadership by recognizing a select group of women in business in various business and government organizations who play a distinct role in the regional and global development.These nominees, winners and participants in these kinds of events deserve the highest accolades. Being a woman who has achieved excellence in a region that has a lot of red tape and road blocks for them to get past have done something truly extraordinary.

While some of the Middle Eastern countries educate to the highest level and hence have some of the most capable doctors, business women and even world leaders. There are others in the region where girls receive no education, can barely read & write and are not seen as part of society. Many of these countries that view and treat women in this manner do so in the name of their religion. Why is it that in a region with countries following the same religion can some give women the highest ranks and respect while others put them on the same level as farm animals?

While I may be jumping around here a bit and not following standard writing styles, I guess that is okay when it is a blog expressing my own opinions... but violence against women is NOT something that only happens in the Middle East. It happens everywhere!!!

Clearly this is not an issue that will be easily fixed, nor as I said above is it something that will only have one option as a solution. What he can hopefully do is continue awareness of the issue of women in business in the Middle East (and women's rights in general). Perhaps one solution is that we put more emphasis on the business to start focusing more on women. Even beyond eduction, if businesses start emphasizing the importance of women being part of the business culture, maybe that would be a baby step that could be have a huge impact on women's rights. Just a thought...

I also found this terrific website that I am it isn't getting more attention. I think the UN does more for the world than any other organization. http://www.unwomen.org/

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