From left: Dr Lamya Fawwaz, executive director for brand & strategic initiatives at Masdar and WiSER programme director, and Reem BinKaram, director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2019 during the agreement signing.
NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) and the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform – a Masdar-led initiative dedicated to inspiring women and girls to play an active role in addressing global sustainability challenges – have announced a strategic partnership for the year 2019.
Through this year-long partnership, the two will collaborate on several programmes designed to position women and girls of all nationalities as drivers of change and innovation, to further their joint ambition to empower present and future generations of female sustainability leaders and help them play more active roles in the attainment of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
The agreement was signed on January 16 by NAMA director Reem BinKaram and Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, executive director for brand & strategic initiatives at Masdar and WiSER programme director, at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).
The partnership is a long-term collaboration to promote women’s engagement in key sectors such as energy, environment and technology. The first collaborative effort under this NAMA-WiSER union was NAMA’s support and active participation at the annual WiSER Forum, which offers women a vibrant networking platform with a unique mix of policy makers, industry specialists, and technology pioneers to collaborate on solutions that will empower more women to drive sustainability fields.
In her remarks at the forum, BinKaram said: “Both NAMA Women Advancement Establishment’s and WiSER’s mandate are strategically built towards making international initiatives for women locally relevant, and in this sense, we are natural partners. We, therefore, look forward to making the most of this year-long strategic partnership between us to accelerate women’s access to education and professional training, as well as bring them closer to effective networking opportunities.”
She added: “Evidence-based programmes and targeted interventions need to be made on both micro and macro levels through such partnerships between likeminded organisations in order to achieve proper integration of women across sectors and functions. To make a real impact and achieve the desired outcomes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we need to consolidate our efforts to bring women and men on the same platform to work together in emerging sectors.”
Dr. Lamya Fawwaz emphasised the important role of female role models for younger generations. “We are looking forward to collaborating with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, which will further strengthen our efforts at WiSER to provide young women with the tools, inspiration and role models they need to become future sustainability leaders,” Dr. Fawwaz explained.
“The key aim of WiSER is to bring female leaders into the limelight, and connect them with our community.”
The WiSER Forum at ADSW 2019 saw the participation of sustainability experts, industry leaders, decision makers, innovators, key influencers, and young women, who came together to discuss ‘The Role of Women in Advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. Reem BinKaram, and Lina Hamdan, research and development manager at NAMA, contributed to specific round table discussion focusing on finance and policy, and culture/changing behaviour.
The speakers highlighted how women can take a bigger role through these sectors to advance the UN's SDGs. The recommended actions resulting from these roundtable discussions will contribute to a white paper, designed to stimulate further dialogue and action, and inspire the year-long WiSER Pioneers’ Programme – a WiSER initiative that provides 14 young women yearly with educational workshops, professional internships and access to global networking events.
As part of their participation at ADSW 2019, NAMA is also promoting the collective efforts of its own initiatives, as well as its affiliates, in promoting women’s access to education and training to enter and excel in emerging sectors.
NAMA Women Advancement Establishment was established in 2015 under an Emiri Decree by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah. The core philosophy at NAMA is to raise awareness that women are an indispensable human resource for the development of every nation. NAMA was conceived to go beyond the remit of supporting women and ensuring gender equality to a broader scope that aims to see women become influential key members of society, thereby enabling them to climb the ladder of success. Sharjah Business Women Council, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, and Badiri Education and Development Academy, fall under the umbrella of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment.
Recognising the pivotal role women play in advancing sustainable development, Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, have established Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) to empower and inspire women to be catalysts of innovation and the drivers of commercial solutions that will address climate change and the secure access of food, energy and water. There have already been several WiSER forums held across the world to promote the role women play in industries related to sustainability and clean technologies. These forums provide a platform for free and open dialogue, where women in the industry can engage with each other on issues of career and corporate mobility, gender equality, and entrepreneurship.