American Consulate General Empowers Palestinian Women with Leadership Conference

On April 20, the American Consulate General brought together over 70 professional Palestinian women for the Palestinian Women’s Leadership Conference in Ramallah, engaging them in a conversation on how to achieve success as Palestinian women leaders.

Attendees included prominent women leaders in fields like business and politics from local and international organizations. Amal Daragmeh Masri, the CEO of Ougarit Group and Editor-in-Chief and CEO Middle East Business News, headlined a panel on breaking into male-dominated fields, addressing the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in the Palestinian community, including the lack of mentorship, funds, and support. Lana Abu Hijleh, the Country Director of Global Communities in Ramallah, Manal Zraiq, General Director of Masaar International, and Sandra Wijnberg, Deputy Head of Mission at the Office of the Quartet Representative spoke in a panel discussion on the definition of success and how women can best confront challenges faced in the contemporary workplace.

Tekedra Mawakana, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President for Global Public Policy at Yahoo, greeted the participants via a video message. The event featured discussion of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book Lean In, in which Sandberg decries the lack of women in corporate leadership positions and encourages women to assert themselves with confidence and ambition and support other women in doing so. Another panel introduced the concept of mentorship for success and encouraged participants to network and seek out mentors and mentees.

Moira Whelan, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Digital Strategy at the U.S. State Department, spoke to participants about the importance of using technology to advance their careers. “Digital technology presents a wealth of opportunities for professional women to enhance their careers, whether through building and maintaining networks, marketing their products and services to a wider audience, or staying connected with the people and issues that matter,” she said.

Deputy Principal Officer Dorothy Shea of the American Consulate General in Jerusalem said in her remarks that “it no longer makes sense to exclude women from positions of power.” She added, “When women have jobs they typically invest in their families, leading to higher levels of education and greater success for the next generation.”

This event is part of the American Consulate General’s ongoing efforts to support the empowerment of Palestinian women. Other efforts have included outreach events to women’s groups during Women’s History Month in March, grants to non-governmental organizations that are led by and serve women, cultural programming highlighting women’s accomplishments, and exchange and educational programs for talented Palestinian women of all ages.

For more information please contact the Consulate General Press Office at 02-622-6909 or Information Assistant Hassna Dajani at 054-6620257.