In a bid to celebrate women power and election of Ms. Doreen Bodgan-Martin as Director of International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), the Eve Committee of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) organised a Women’s Coffee Morning on the sidelines of the ongoing Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18). The Conference is being held in the UAE for the first time and is running until 16th November at Dubai World Trade Centre.
During the aforesaid morning session, women delegates from over 160 member states assembled for a networking get-together, which was also attended by H.E. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General of the ITU and H.E. Eng. Majed Al Mesmar, the Chairman of the Conference PP-18 2018
The session commenced with an opening address by Ms. Ahlam Al Feel, Director of Corporate Communications, Chief Happiness Officer and Head of Eve Committee at the TRA.
Addressing the audience, Ms. Al Feel said, “It is great honour to see many women at PP-18 and in telecommunications sector in general. It is an indication that women today are capable to play a role in one of the most important sectors in human development.”
A trophy of appreciation was presented to Ms. Doreen during the session, amid applauses and in presence of other female delegates of the Conference.
Presenting the trophy on behalf of the UAE-TRA and Eve Committee, Ms. Al Feel said, “With the election of Ms. Doreen to the top position, women have achieved an additional milestone that has paved the way for more deserved senior positions. We consider this election as an important accomplishment, not only for Ms. Doreen, but for all women working in the telecommunications sector.”
“We are proud that PP-18 held in UAE resulted in this historic feat and also that four committees out of seven are being chaired by women. That is what makes UAE different and a place of ‘change’,” she added.
She further said, “For me, as an Emirati woman, this means a lot. We have tasted the sweetness of active and wide participation in the highest positions. Today, we have a Cabinet, a third of which are women, including the youngest female minister in the world. While the percentage of women in the UAE society is just under 50 percent, their share of the UAE labor market reaches 66 percent according to international reports.”
She stressed that the status of women in the UAE is not new.
“It is an integral part of our culture and heritage. This was reflected in the roles played by women since the early stages of our country’s establishment, until today. As we have a UAE Gender Balance Council, tasked with the implementation of the UAE’s policy in creating a women’s supportive environment and providing them with all enabling elements to play an important role in building the country alongside men as partners,” Ms. Al Feel mentioned.
Extending his best wishes to the women in ITU and PP-18, Mr. Houlin Zhao said, “As we celebrate the achievements of our ICT top ladies, I am glad to join you here. There are a lot of good achievements that have happened in PP-18. We are very happy with this edition of the Conference. This is a starting point and we would like to see this change to be continued, so that in future, we reach a 50-50 percentage ratio of men and women in workforce. It will take some time, as it is only a beginning, but I am confident that we will reach the level.”
Thanking the UAE-TRA and Eve Committee for felicitation, Doreen said, “I am very grateful and appreciative of the Eve Committee of the TRA for this award. It is a great honour to be the first women in 153 years to reach elected office in ITU. We are here in Dubai and UAE – the city and the country of ‘change’ and I hope I can bring a positive change to the work of the ITU.”
The session concluded with group photographs of the delegates with Mr. Zhao and H.E. Al Mesmar.
Plenipotentiary Conference, the key event of ITU, held every four years, is this year convening representatives of Member States to set out a plan for 2020-2023 in terms of the latest developments in ICT. ITU allocates global radio spectrum, develops the technical standards and strives to improve access to technology for the under-served communities worldwide.