In honour of International Women’s Day 2021, Intisar Foundation hosted a virtual knowledge sharing session with some of the most distinguished experts and decision-makers from around the world in order to advise on the most effective solutions for truly empowering Arab women.
Entitled “Achieving Women’s Self-Empowerment For A Better Arab World”, the webinar discussion featured HE Alina Romanowski, Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Kuwait, HE Anne-Claire Legendre, Ambassador of France to the State of Kuwait, Dr. Tarek Elsheikh, Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Resident Coordinator to the State of Kuwait, Omar Odeh, Head of Regional Delegation for GCC countries, ICRC, and HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah, Founder and Chairwoman, Intisar Foundation.
The discussion was moderated by Dr. Alanoud Al Sharekh, Director at Ibtikar Consultancy, and Chairperson of the Abolish153 Campaign.
In today’s world, leaders across all fields – from governments, academia, business, to philanthropy – take action to support, empower, and advance Arab women, but progress often remains elusive.
For that reason, Intisar Foundation used this online discussion to grasp the lessons learned from the policies, programmes, and projects initiated by the speakers’ respective countries and organisations in support of women’s empowerment processes across the Arab world.
“My call for action today is for us all to enable and support Arab women in achieving the state of self-empowerment,” said HH Sheikha Intisar Al Sabah, founder and Chairwoman of Intisar Foundation. “We need to destigmatize mental health, but in doing that, we need to become aware of the necessity of trying different psychological approaches to alleviating trauma in Arab women affected by war and violence.”
The event forms part of Intisar Foundation’s pioneering initiative One Million Arab Women For Peace, a 30-year plan to alleviate trauma of war and violence in one million Arab women through the use of drama therapy.
Intisar Foundation is the first charitable organisation in the Middle East to provide Arab women living in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan psychological support in the form of drama therapy. In 2020, the foundation started providing online drama therapy sessions in order to support its beneficiaries during COVID19-related national lockdowns.
“The COVID-19 lockdown brought with it increased rates of domestic violence against women staying at their homes, so being in very confined spaces with a potential aggressor,” explained HH Sheikha Intisar. “We realised that our beneficiaries needed the support even more, and started offering online sessions of drama therapy which have shown me how much more we all must do to help these women.”
“We realised that our beneficiaries cannot do it alone,” HH Sheikha Intisar concluded. “They will fight one way, but not find it. That is why psychological support is crucial for the self-empowerment of any woman, and especially an Arab woman.”