Women business, professional, and government leaders gathered to build international alliances and develop strategies to advance women’s economic development throughout the world. The 2006 Global Summit of Women, held in Cairo, Egypt June 10-12, was attended by about 900 women from over 80 countries. The summit has informally been called “the Davos for Women” in reference to the male-dominated annual economic forum.
This is the first Global Summit of Women to be held in an Arab country since the summit’s inception in 1990 (held in Montreal, Canada). Irene Natividad, President of Global Summit of Women, said that one of the goals of this year’s summit was to show the world a “more complex picture” of Arab women, according to Xinhua.
Egypt’s First Lady Susan Mubarak, gave the opening address for the summit in which she outlined the challenges women face and the importance of recognizing women’s contributions to the global economy. She stated, “Women entrepreneurs, who are usually smaller, poorer, less educated and more isolated than other market players face an enormous knowledge barrier,” reports Angola Press. The Global Summit of Women presented Ms. Mubarak with a leadership award in recognition of her efforts to promote financial and political empowerment of women, according to Arabic News.