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‘Women can be instrumental in curbing extremism’


RITIKA SHARMA / Emirates Business

It’s high-time time to look beyond preset clichés. Clearly contemplating beyond the common mantra of empowering women and increasing their visibility in public and private work forces, experts resonate that there is much wider dimension to women power that is still untapped, however widely accepted.
Speaking during the formal launch of policy recommendation, drawn from the Beirut Institute’s Summit, in Abu Dhabi, experts said that it is the ultimate time we start exploring women’s caliber in the field of ‘conflict resolution’ to solve burning problems like extremism.
“Recommendations look at the issue of women empowerment very strongly beyond just symbolic or partial implementation of it. It is important to touch upon various dimensions of women empowerment like there is an economic dimension, a policy and decision making dimension and then most important the wisdom dimension in context of fighting extremism and terrorism,” said Rudolph C Lohmeyer, Director, Global Business Policy Council at AT Kearney, while answering a media query during the launch on Sunday.
“Women are naturally gifted and able to bring in a new perspective to resolving conflicts. The region should make use of their power to handle even the most sensitive of topics like extremism by bringing them to decision-making floor. We have strongly emphasised upon this in the report,” he pointed out.
The leadership of the Arab region should move decisively to empower women as crucial economic, political and social leaders — and as natural agents against extremism, one of the recommendations stated.
Suggesting major legislative changes, the recommendations said that the leaders in the region must continue to advance legislation that secures gender equality and the legal rights of women. Also there are suggestion regarding establishing a women’s parliamentarians association to monitor their perennial issues including, political participation and representation at various forums in the region.
Stressing on the importance of having more women in parliaments to make the above possible, RaghidaDergham, Beirut Institute founder and executive chairman, said, “Parliaments lack women presence in most of the Arab countries and it is something we are not very proud of.”
Raghida said she believes that securing a women-quota can be a boosting step to bring more women to decision-making positions.“I personally believe in quota, not as final aim but as a driving force in order for women to catch up in this part of the region. I wish all the countries in Arab world can copy the wonderfully visionary decision taken in UAE where more women were recently included in the cabinet,” she added.
Talking about role of women in curbing extremism, Raghida said, “If we want to fight extremism all it takes is a ‘woman’, in a very big way to put a stop to this problem.”
Beirut Institute Summit distinguished Co-chair His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal said, “I agree that women have a special talent for dealing with difficult situations particularly when it comes to issues of terrorism and other social problems. They can focus on the solutions, think more quickly and therefore empowering them is even more important.”

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