Some employ thousands of people, others have inspired communities with a single act, while many have made a difference to people’s lives with medical break-throughs or social initiatives. For different reasons, these are the most powerful arab women of 2015.
1) Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi
Number one for the fifth year in a row, Sheikha Lubna has continued to boost the UAE’s role as a major donor and key player in global human development through her role as the Federal Government’s Minister of International Cooperation and Development. As well as her numerous ministerial responsibilities, Sheikha Lubna is also a board director at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, a member of the governing board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, a board director at the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, a member of the board of trustees of the Dubai School of Government, and co-founder and board member of the Friends of Cancer Patients. Also a great champion for women in business, Sheikha Lubna is a regular advocate for womens rights, education, and empowerment.
2) Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney has been one of the most high-profile – and busy – lawyers and activists in recent years, fighting numerous human rights, international law and criminal law cases, with clients such as Julian Assange and Yulia Tymoshenko on her books.
3) Loujain Al Hathloul
Occasionally a single incident can catapult a woman into the headlines, establishing her as a symbol for a particular cause. Loujain Al Hathloul is one such woman, whose defiance of the Saudi Arabian driving ban for women led to her imprisonment, subsequent release, and a raising of the controversial topic at home in the GCC and around the rest of the world.
4) Lubna Olayan
Olayan is the CEO of Riyadh-based Olayan Financing Company, a group founded by her father in 1947 which has become one of the kingdom’s most successful conglomerates with operations across distribution, manufacturing, services and investments. Sitting on the board of the group along with her brother Khaled and sisters Hayat and Hutham, it is thought that the private family has accumulated a fortune topping $10 billion.
5) Reem Al Hashimy
After having played an instrumental role in UAE’s successful Expo 2020 bid last year, Reem Al Hashimy’s workload has increased exponentially as she works towards the global event which will arrive in five years. Expo 2020 is expected to provide 277,000 new job opportunities, and bring in almost $25 billion in added economic activities, and Al Hashimy is at the forefront of making that possibility a reality.
6) Mariam Al Mansouri
When the UAE launched strikes against ISIL late last year, it was Major Mariam Al Mansouri who became the face of the UAE airforce. The 35-year-old F-16 pilot led the missions in Syria, generating media coverage across the globe as the UAE’s first female fighter pilot, with the vast majority praising her involvement as a huge step for women in the armed forces and a boost for gender equality in the Middle East.
7) Mona Al Munajjed
Dr Mona Al Munajjed is an award-winning and prominent sociologist at the forefront of those influencing women’s affairs in Saudi Arabia. She is an advisor on social and gender issues and an author on social issues in the GCC countries.
8) Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch
As the head of Akwa Group, a distributor of petroleum products, and the CEO of retail and luxury group Aksal, Akhannouch is one of Morocco’s wealthiest female entrepreneurs.
9) Amina Al Rustamani
Starting her career in 2001 as a project engineer in Dubai Media City, she has risen to become one of the Arab world’s most powerful and respected women, looking after upwards of 4,500 companies across a number of industries at TECOM Business Parks.
10) Zainab Mohammed
As CEO of property management, market and communication at property developer wasl, Mohammed has built a reputation as a driving force behind Dubai’s real estate sector. Mohammed plays a critical part in running the company that looks after the property portfolio owned by the government’s Dubai Real Estate Corporation. She and her team oversee several of wasl’s most important divisions.
Source: Arabian Business