DUBAI / EMIRATES BUSINESS
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, President of Zayed University, received Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and her distinguished accompanying delegation at Zayed University in Dubai campus on Wednesday.
The event saw the presence of Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, Dr Marilyn Roberts, Acting Provost at Zayed University, and a number of senior officials representing governmental and semi-governmental sectors, economic trade and investment sectors, students, deans, and faculty members.
The visit came on the sidelines of the Global Women’s Forum, which serve as a crucial platform for the Arab world to highlight the capabilities and achievements of the strong, talented and innovative women belonging to the region.
Christine Lagarde, the sixth most powerful woman leader in the world, came to Zayed University to engage with young enthusiastic students in interactive discussions about youth in the Arab world.
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna inaugurated the event and gave welcome remarks.
“It is an immense pleasure and a great honor to welcome you today at Zayed University as one of the most powerful women in the world. It is indeed a great privilege to have you here today to engage in insightful talks and fruitful discussions with our young students, who have outstanding potentials, talents, and dreams to achieve distinction,” H.E Sheikha Lubna said.
For her part, Lagarde, the French lawyer, expressed her gratitude and higher appreciation to Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna saying: “It is a joy to see you all here today, as we celebrate the tremendous and significant role of Emirati women and congratulate Her Excellency Sheikha Luban on the new post and major role as the Minister of State for Tolerance. I encourage all of you to support her.”
“I am impressed with the care and attention that the wise leadership of the UAE continuously and consistently exerts to improve the status of women, empower them, and develop their capabilities,” Lagarde added.
Lagarde has also praised the increased representation of female Government members and described it as “phenomenal”.
“Emirati women are open to all life possibilities and potentials. It is always important to reinvent the way you operate, look for more opportunities, and devote your life to do many meaningful things,” she said.
During the event, Lagarde discussed some of her experiences across various fields and provided insights into the importance of women’s participation in the workforce especially in the private sector and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Acknowledging the UAE government’s effort in encouraging and promoting entrepreneurship spirt and quality education among youth, Lagarde added: “There are many different constraints that women still face in the Arab world. For instance, access to finance remains a critical barrier to the success of entrepreneurial businesses in many Arab countries as well as difficult access to education. However, in order to achieve success and overcome obstacles, women should build and cultivate a deeper confidence in themselves and improve their energy levels.”
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna has pointed out that there are several initiatives in place to build capacity in countries around Syria and help Syrian refugees to have more access to education, as part of the new International Commission on Financing Global Education mission around the world.
The Commission will reserve the lack of financing for education around the world and review the future of global education.
During the event, Lagarde has also pointed out that youth unemployment, which reached a rate of 28 per cent, is one of the key challenges facing Arab countries.
Lagarde was first appointed Managing Director on July 5, 2011. She was selected to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on July 5, 2016.
Lagarde is known for her wise leadership. During turbulent times in the global economy, Lagarde strengthened the Fund’s ability to support its members with policy advice, capacity building, and financing. She has also played a critical role in revitalizing the Fund’s relations with its global membership including its emerging market and developing members.