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08. March 2007

Dubai conference © Frauen ohne Grenzen

Edit Schlaffer (in the middle) at the 9th Global Businesswomen and Leaders Forum in Dubai. Next to her on the right side Dr. Massoumeh Ebtekar, the former Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Ms. Raja al Gurg, President of the Dubai Business Women Council. On the left side the conference organiser and managing director from Datamatix, Mr. Ali al Kamali


International Women´s Day 2007 - Women without Borders in Dubai

From Presence to Significance: Women don’t only want to make it, they want to make a difference!

Edit Schlaffer as key speaker at the 9th Global Businesswomen and Leaders Forum in the Burj al Arab Hotel Dubai.

The modern media and the international markets have created something new: a global women’s culture that contains more common elements than in any earlier age.
Women worldwide aspire and desire a balanced professional and personal life. The messages about life, work, love and money are shared experiences in a new real and virtual global community.

We witness a new and exciting process: the young girls coming of age are experiencing something like a shared childhood across the globe. They are socialized into new sets of attitudes based on the principles of personal achievement and ambition.

At the same time they live in a paradox being torn between high societal expectations and limitations. This backfires on two levels: on the personal level testing the trust and confidence of the young talented women in their ambitions, and on the economic level producing a huge waste of much needed brainpower.

These emerging new talents and already visible female leaders could be a new force for positive and better trans-national communication. But this development is not warmly welcomed on various public stages, it is viewed with alarm by some.
Educators, parents, conservative opinion leaders see this as a threat to the more traditional socialization of women they would prefer for their youths, especially for the female section.

The Gender Deal

We need a change of perspective: instead of seeing gender as a threat we should see it as an opportunity. Gender does not mean women only, sharing does not mean loosing, and there is something for all of us in the gender deal: Opportunity for all to achieve their full potential, opportunity for all to choose the type of career that suits each person best free of stereotypical pressure and positioning. Viewed in these terms it makes sense to invest in women and tap into the energies and talents of all members of society.
This is especially important in the poorest of our countries, where the investment already made into the education of women to university level should not be lost once they are married and raise a family.

I am sure you also already thought “I want more” or even asked yourself “Is this all?”
We have to listen to our inner voice, when we ask ourselves, “why so slow, why so little?” We should speak out loud and not follow the given practices. Why travel the scenic route if there are always highways available without segregation!

Why Women without Borders…

Significance means that the women who are at the top really care to develop a vision for what they want. Women can be significant at all levels, be aware that you have influence, that as soon as you are visible you have an impact. Women must use it more. And women can keep breaking in to new fields such as the environment, reconstruction and conflict prevention. These three areas are so critical that women cannot afford not to be there.

Your knowledge is a tool. By connecting our minds and our spirits, we can really work together for development and have significance in world affairs.
If we don’t choose to be diplomats or politicians, we can be activists and maybe not save the world, but the environment. The conflict zones are growing, when the peace is made and I am confident that it can be done, we will begin the process of healing and rebuilding. And women must be ready to do their part in building strong and sustainable societies and that serve the interests of the many and not only the few.

Let’s not us wait for the crumbs, let’s bake the cake!

You all are women without borders and together we can change the world!

With best regards from Dubai where dedicated female Arab speakers are together designing a new road map for female leadership in the future.

Yours Edit Schlaffer

Click here for more informations on the conference in Dubai.


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