This year, Forbes Middle East highlighted 200 wealthiest and powerful women of the Arab region. These women belong to the mostly business class, government representatives or executives of top class organizations. Among these 200 most powerful women, KSA has 29 personalities. Egypt has highest number among this being 30 and UAE is closer to KSA by 26 most powerful women of Arab. Among these 200 women, 85 women belong to the business class. Most businesses belong to family firms and companies who started from scratch and now have worldwide networks. KSA has second ranking among them with 12 women from the list. It includes Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan. UAE stands at the first rank in this class. It leads with 16 women from consultancy and retail businesses. The top most woman personality among them is managing director of UAE-based Easa Saleh A1 Gurg Group.
Women Representation in KSA: Overall 59 wealthiest women among 200 belong to the government and legislative sector. Even in KSA women representation is increasing with time. Last year Kingdom nominated female representatives in Shoura Council. Nine of them belong to the Saudi government, seven for Algeria and 6 in Oman, Morocco, and Jordan. Government sector allocates women in different ministries. 12 of them belong to social affairs and 11 with the legal and legislative section. Education and tourism sector has six entries and only one woman belongs to Commerce, transport, and labor.
These most powerful women from executive grid belong to both public and private sector. Among them, Shaikha K. Al-Baha, Deputy Group CEO of National Bank of Kuwait stand at first and Nayla Hayek of the luxury watch maker, Swatch, place at second. 25 personalities belong to financial and banking sector. 7 women belong to pharmaceutical and medicines and rest of 5 are from different other sectors. All these women are not only inspiration for coming generations but also contributing their part to upgrade the economy of Middle East.
Total 59 out of 200 most powerful belong to the national political sector. Such a significant percentage (29%) shows the contribution of women in public affairs. Among these Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi from UAE stands at first rank. The participation of female representative in Shura Council of Saudi Kingdom shows raised influence of women in Arab society.
The one step ahead towards achievements of Arab women in the prosperity of society shows increasing balance in masculine and feminine sexes in society. The general perception about Arab women is that they are not allowed by men to participate freely.
Forbes report about 200 most powerful women of Middle East denies this assumption. The percentage of women participation is about 24% in Middle East economy which is an inspiring figure. This fact motivates Arab women section to further play their productive role in advancement and development of Arab region.