Arab International Women's Forum Coming to AUC


The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) is holding a conference in Cairo for the third time since 2005, and this time around, it’s coming to AUC.

Click here for the event page and registration link. The conference agenda can be found here

The conference, Women as Engines of Economic Growth, will take place on September 17 and will examine critical development challenges and opportunities for Egyptian and Arab women leaders in business, entrepreneurship, academia and public service in Egypt and the broader MENA region. The conference program, made in collaboration between AIWF and senior leadership at AUC, will deliver recommendations for empowering women as drivers of economic development, growth and sustainable change — advancing AIWF’s global advocacy for women in business, public service and entrepreneurship. All panel discussions will be under the overarching themes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030 for Women and will discuss how to fulfill SDGs on gender diversity, women and youth empowerment, and societal and economic progress for all.

“I am very excited that AUC is hosting this timely conference with an impressive roster of speakers that showcase women’s leadership on corporate boards, in family businesses, in public service and in the informal economy,” said Ghada Howaidy, associate dean of executive education and external relations at AUC's School of Business. 

Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani 



Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, AIWF founder, will be the keynote speaker during the opening and closing sessions. The opening session will feature AUC President Francis Ricciardone; Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala Elsaid; President and CEO of PepsiCo Egypt Mohamed Shelbaya '90; and President of the National Council for Women Maya Morsy '95. Other speakers include prominent women from a diverse set of careers, including presidents of corporations, members of parliament, professors and directors of NGOs. Read here for the full conference agenda.

The conference will consist of four panels, each focusing on different topics related to business, entrepreneurship, public service and the future of women in leadership. These includegender diversity on corporate boards and in family businesses, women in public office and in academia, as well as the role and contributions of women in the rural and informal sectors.

“Fully recognizing the value of women’s contribution to the economy and inclusive growth is an ongoing global conversation that we need to be a part of,” Howaidy said.

AIWF was founded by Kaylani in 2001 with the goals of empowering Arab women to be global leaders and internationally advocating for gender equality in the workplace. Partnering with AUC, conference organizers expressed the importance of this initiative, which will make for critical discussion on challenges and opportunities for women in the MENA region and globally:

“AIWF is proud to have the opportunity to partner with the American University in Cairo on this much-needed and timely initiative...[and] is looking forward to working closely with our partners at AUC, one of the region’s leading and pre-eminent universities, under the leadership of Francis J. Ricciardone, to deliver another high-impact joint conference which examines the empowerment of Egyptian and Arab women leaders as a key priority for economic growth in Egypt and the wider MENA region, without which a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Arab future cannot be secured.”