“A woman is a school: if you teach her, you teach an entire generation.”

When it comes to achieving and maintaining peace in the Middle East, it’ll take both sexes to do it.

That was the message at this week’s Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament, where politicians from more than 50 countries gathered in Abu Dhabi to talk about the future, including issues such as conflict, oil and sustainability.

Presided over by Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, the Speaker of the Federal National Council of the UAE, the conference called for an even greater inclusion of women in government – and the support of men to do just that.

Though the Emirates is making impressive strides with initiatives such as the Gender Balance Council, more can always be done, she said.

“When women in parliament are united, we can really move mountains, and you all know that,” she told the group according to the Khaleej Times.


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“But when we are united as men and as women, we can really move the world, and this is what really makes a difference.

“We live in one of the most conflicted regions in the world. Hope is our secret. We should work together not alone, male and female, youth and all generations, and with all the different sectors, our scientists and thinkers.”

In that vein, Al Qubaisi opened up the summit to men for the first time, with politicians such as Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister, joining the two-day conference.

Sheikh Saif even delivered the keynote address, where he regaled attendees with a quote from a poem: “A woman is a school: if you teach her, you teach an entire generation. If a mother never learns, how can she teach the next generation?”

The group also discussed how to make a career in the government more attractive for women, with parliamentarians suggesting solutions such as dedicated creches in the workplace.

The conference concludes in the capital today.

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