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UAE's Lubna Al Qasimi is Global Trailblazer Honouree

posted on 15/04/2008: 805 views

UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi has been announced a Global Trailblazer Honouree by the "Vital Voices Global Partnership", an international non-profit organization devoted to women's leadership, for her efforts to increase women's economic and political progress in the United Arab Emirates. Sheikha Lubna was honoured by the international organization along with other women leaders from Argentina, Burma, France and Kenya for their courageous and safeguard human rights at a special ceremony.

The Global Trailblazer Award was presented to Sheikha Lubna by Journalist Wolf Blitzer of CNN and Dina Habib Powell, Director of Global Corporate Engagement, Goldman Sachs. Sheikha Lubna expressed gladness at the award which she said she has received on behalf of all Arab women who have the desire to contribute to the continuous growth of emerging Arab societies.

"Arab women are now making significant contributions in so many fields...What we may see is a more external, public role for Arab women--the Internet and media today turn a powerful spotlight on the achievements of Arab women so that there is greater understanding of the roles that they are playing", she said.

First Lady Laura Bush participated in the Vital Voices 2008 Global Leadership Awards and Benefit, at the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts, along with U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Actress and Activist Angelina Jolie, who serves as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees.

The women of the UAE point to Sheikha Lubna as a source of pride and inspiration-and so do many of the men, according to Vital Voices. "She embraces her status as a role model, but insists that the women of her country have the tools they need to accomplish their dreams: 'It is up to us as women to decide... what it is that we can do and not do.', the organization added.

In 2004, Sheikha Lubna became the first woman to hold a cabinet position in the history of the UAE, and the first female finance minister in the history of the Middle East, said Powell.

At the time, Sheikha Lubna had already enjoyed a remarkable career as a businesswomen and information technology professional, including her role as CEO of the first business-to-business e-marketplace in the Middle East, Tejari. Her leadership in information technology at other companies earned her the UAE's Distinguished Employee Award in 2000 - again a first for a woman. Today, as head of the newly formed Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sheikha Lubna travels around the world, negotiating trade agreements and attracting overseas investment. In her country, the women point to her as a source of pride and inspiration - and so do the men. She understands that unleashing women's potential contributes to the prosperity of societies.

The UAE's economy, financial markets, and monetary and investment policies have been modernized under her leadership. Today, as head of the newly formed ministry of foreign trade, Sheikha Lubna travels around the world, negotiating trade agreements and attracting overseas investment. She has become one of the best-known ambassadors for her country, regularly speaking on major stages, such as the World Economic Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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