2015 NAFSA Panel: Middle Eastern Women Build a Place in the Workforce Through Education and Entrepreneurship

AlhambraBCEC2015-0057The members of this unique panel, which was presented at NAFSA on Friday May 29, 2015, were chosen to highlight for the NAFSA participants the advancement that is possible when there is strategic cooperation between the government, business and education sectors – in this case, increasing the numbers of women participating in higher education and the workforce in the MENA region.  The role of international education in the development of the skills (soft and hard) required for these women to be successful participants in the knowledge economy was also highlighted. Strategic cooperation such as the ones described by the panelists provide opportunity through the benefits of education.

Amal Jamil Fatani, PhD
Associate Professor in Pharmacology and Toxicology, King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Janelle Rasmussen
Director of International Training and Special Programs, Middle East Partnership Initiative, Montana State University

James B. Smith
Senior Counselor, The Cohen Group, Former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Anjum Malik
Vice President of House of Tutors Learning Centers & the Intensive American English Institute, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of the Alhambra U.S. Chamber

Media Coverage

Is the Post-Graduation Picture for Arab Women Brightening?


“Stimulating discussion with great introduction of the panelists.”

“The ability to engage with more than one panelist at the same time was terrific.”

“It made such a difference that you knew the panelists.”

“The sprinkling of equal amounts of questions for each panelist was very good.”

“I could tell they were having a good time. Very well done.”



PowerPoint Slides


Articles and Websites mentioned during the panel:

Ahed Al Jabri, MEPI 2012
Meshan Oman
Lana Koshaba, MEPI 2009
10,000 Women
Middle East Partnership Student Leaders Program
IREX’s Community Solutions Program (CSP)

Other Relevant Articles:

Al-Fanar Media
After University, Arab Women Struggle to Find Work
Analyzing the Arab “Gender Gap”
Helping Women Hurdle Employment Barriers
In Oman, Female Graduates Compete with Expatriates
The Fight Against Sexual Harassment on Arab Campuses
Women Adjust to University Life in Oman
Women In the Gulf: Better Educated But Less Employed
Yemeni Women’s Uphill Struggle for Education

BECAUSE magazine
7 Arab Women Entrepreneurs You Should Follow

16 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing The Way Business Is Done In The Arab World

CSR Middle East
Women empowerment initiatives for the future of the MENA region

The Middle East Beats the West in Female Tech Founders

Entrepreneur Middle East
Get Your Facts Straight: Women in the MENA Workplace

From Outliers To A Growing Force: What Do Women Entrepreneurs In The Middle East Need to Thrive?

Two-Thirds of Young Arab Women Remain Out of Workforce

Goldman Sachs
Challenges and Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East
The U.S. Department of State and 10,000 Women Announce New Partnership

International Finance Corporation(IFC)
Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa: Characteristics, Contributions and Challenges

Middle East Excellence Awards Institute
11th Middle East Women Leaders Awards

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Gender Inequality and Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa: A statistical Portrait

What factor determine the changing  role of women in the Middle East and Islamic Society

SAIS Global Women in Leadership
Middle Eastern Women Entrepreneurs Rising

Share America
Investing in Middle Eastern Women to Strengthen Society

The Arab American National Museum (AANM)
Making an Impact

United States Department of State
Kerry at 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Program for Middle East

More Women Than Men Intend to Launch New Businesses in the Arab World

Your Middle East
35 Stories of Female Entrepreneurs Changing the Arab World

Calls for Action on Women Empowerment

Active Organizations in the MENA Region:

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchange Programs – Community Solutions
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchange Programs – TechGirls
Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women – Middle East Women Entrepreneurs
MENA-OECD Investment Programme
Open Society Foundations – Arab Regional Office
The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative Supporting Women
The Middle East & North Africa Consultants Association (MENACA) – Women’s Entrepreneurs Initiative
Tomorrow’s Youth – Women’s Empowerment
United Nations Women
The World Bank
Women for Women International
Women Without Borders