event is to celebrate the Emirati Women’s Day 2021 under the theme
“Women: Ambitions & Inspiration for Next 50 years”. 


Opening Speech of the PWA President Gerlie Saura

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen: I would like to join the UAE Ambassador His Excellency Omar Obaid Al Shamshi in extending my heartfelt welcome to all of you.

I also would like to welcome and extend my appreciation 
to all pwa members connected virtually and to all distinguished speakers who are present today.

The special collaboration of the UAE Embassy in Italy and the PWA is an initiative to celebrate women change-makers all over the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency and the UAE Embassy team for its excellent cooperation in the organization of this event.

In my capacity as the President of PWA 
– Professional Women’s Association of Rome, whereby I am responsible for all matters related to the association together with the board of directors comprising 12 women of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Since 1992 PWA has promoted gender equality, women empowerment, and leadership of women in the world of work. We will continue our mission to support women in their professional development and support strategic partnerships that promote women’s economic empowerment, lifelong learning, and equal access to employment opportunities.

Yesterday marked the first conference in G20 history on gender equality. Under Italy’s presidency, it’s fully committed to tackling gender inequalities. G20 can play and will play an essential role in supporting women worldwide. It’s time to take concrete steps to improve women’s position in the workforce, empower female leaders and together remove the obstacles that hold women back in their careers. Reiterated by the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The G20 must also do all it can to ensure that Afghan women preserve their fundamental freedoms and basic rights, especially the right to education. We must defend the rights of women everywhere and most especially where they are under threat.  I couldn’t agree more sincerely.

Today we are gathered here to celebrate the Emirati Women’s Day 2021 under the theme “Women: Ambitions & Inspiration for Next 50 years”. Aiming to highlight the unlimited ambitions of Emirati women and all the women around the world, their aspirations for a better and more prosperous future. We will pay tribute to the leadership’s support and empowerment of women promoting gender equality by highlighting the inspiring model of Expo 2020 Dubai that beautifully reflects the UAE’s vision to empower women made possible through support by legislation and laws that reinforced their rights and boosted their participation in legislative, executive and managerial roles.

The future has never been more uncertain for women, and girls, especially when it comes to education and employment. This is particularly acute for the most marginalized and at risk in our societies. More than one billion students in almost every country have been impacted by school closures; 80 per cent of young women are worried about their future; and one in six young people worldwide have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially damaging to the economic well-being of women—worsening gender inequality by crippling women’s employment and earning opportunities while exacerbating household challenges such as violence against women.

In this moment we need to advocate for all women, in all their diversity, including those women who are facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. I believe that what’s needed is a strategy that both curbs the damage that the pandemic has inflicted on women and unlocks opportunities for reimagining women’s education, employment, and entrepreneurship in the post-pandemic era.

In concluding, let us help each other to find the right solutions and hands-on responses to the new challenges. I’m personally calling on your active support to see gender equality as an integral part of the solution to the many challenges we face in terms of health, climate, economy, and fundamental human rights. I am convinced that your active participation here today will give rise to fruitful exchanges. The success of this event depends on you. Your active involvement in and contribution to the discussion will be of vital importance in seeking effective and practical measures to promote gender equality.

Thank you for your attention and I wish you a successful Emirati Women’s Day.


Event Invitation for PWA Members Only: https://www.pwarome.org/events/pwa-uae-embassy-special-event/ 

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