Gender Parity was the focus area for the third edition of the Doha Women Forum held this week at The Westin Doha Hotel and Spa. The forum saw attendance from diplomats, dignitaries, government representatives as well as prominent members of society.

Qatar Businesswomen Association Vice Chairwoman and Alfardan Group Holding Personal Advisor to the Chairman, Aisha Hussein Alfardan was the key-note speaker at the Forum. She was handed an award by Dr Khaled Al Hajri, who also gave the welcome address.

Modelled on the International Women’s Day theme ‘Balance for Better’, the Doha Women Forum highlighted the issue of gender disparity in politics, business, sports, IT and social entrepreneurship and had talks and interactive discussions by notable speakers.

DWFThe speakers this year included Ambassador of Canada to the State of Qatar HE Stefanie McCollum, who explained why we need more female leaders to change the world; Ambassador of Argentina to Qatar HE Dr Carlos A Hernandez continued on the discussion by sharing his views on how women in politics can help the global economy; Qatar Financial Centre Legislation and Compliance Manager Dr Francesca Re spoke about how women in government and policy making roles can help promote the health and well-being of not just women but the entire community.

Qatar is currently playing an increasingly prominent and effective role in sports, using it as a medium to forge friendship and to enhance relations with nations worldwide. Qatar Women’s Sports Committee President Lolwa Hussain Almarri spoke about the extent of gender equality in the field of sports in Qatar, while Nielsen Sports MENAP Associate Director Maria Talakina shared her insight on how we can promote balance through sport.

Women are generally underrepresented in technology and IT fields and Microsoft Country Manager Lana Khalaf spoke about how the economy can benefit from having more women working in the technology and the IT sector. Wardah Mamukoya, Founder and Managing Director of Wa’hab, an award – winning company that distributes food to the hungry, offered advice to women who wished to be involved in philanthropy and social causes.

The forum also featured an interactive question and answer discussion with panel members including QFC Labour Affairs and Monitoring Senior Specialist Maha Kamal Tawfik, North Oil Company Head of Financial Control Dr Haya Al Naimi and TASMU Digital Lead Omar Shaath.

There was also a special segment where Zaakira Mahomed, Founder of the Mina Cup Foundation, spoke about how her foundation uplifts female children and encourages them to stay in school, complete their education and be at par with her male counterparts.


An energetic and lively fashion show by Hair Couture Salon and La Boutique Blanche, an upscale contemporary women´s boutique in Qatar, brought the attendees up-to-date with some of the latest styles of the season.

Qatar Professional Women’s Network (QPWN), one of the key supporters of Doha Women Forum, conducted a Women Empowering Women session to help women build up their network and support each other.

According to Doha Women Forum and Future 318 Founder Conchita Ponce, gender inequality is, unfortunately, a reality.

You are here today, because, just like me, you want to see a difference made, you want women and men to be treated without prejudice and with equal respect. Through the forum, we are creating awareness on the importance of diversity and balance in the world. This is my legacy, my purpose in this world and if we can succeed in bringing a positive change in at least a few of your lives, I will consider that my greatest achievement.’

Almost 200 women from all walks of life and across all nationalities attended the forum.

The event was organised by Future 318 (Faisal Al Suwaidi For Events), in partnership with Qatar Businesswomen Association and She’s Mercedes. This year’s event was also supported by Qatar Chamber-ICC Qatar, North Oil Company, Qatar Financial Centre, The Westin Doha Hotel and Spa, Qatar Airways, and the Embassy of the Argentine Republic.

Marhaba Information Guide is a proud media sponsor of this event.