HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah has urged the world to “pull up women” facing conflict, displacement, and difficulties in the region during a stirring address. Speaking at the HeForShe IMPACT Summit in New York on Wednesday, the Jordanian royal paid tribute to the gender equality movement, but highlighted that more can be done, especially for those in the Arab world.
“Through civil war and armed conflict, unemployment and forced displacement, Arab women are digging deep to hold their families together in the most testing conditions,” said Her Majesty, revealing that such crises cause “women [to] slip off national agendas, increasing the gap between hardship and hope”. “And, yet, they bridge that gap with a spirit of steel and a will to match. I’m so proud that amidst this instability, we’ve seen strides in women’s health and education,” added Queen Rania.
The summit, held as world leaders gather in New York for the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, aimed to raise awareness of practices and solutions that contribute towards the achievement of gender equality. The movement, launched by UN Women, has awakened “women and men to the promise of new horizons,” HM stated, revealing that females across the globe face the same issues. “As someone who travels between East and West, hearing women’s stories, I can tell you: when it comes to the issue of women’s empowerment, distances shrink and differences fade,” Her Majesty said.
However, despite all the strides that have been made towards closing the gender gap in recent years, “our region came last in the World Economic Forum’s recent Gender Gap Report,” added HM. “For all those standing, many more are not yet on their feet. So, I want to urge you: reach over borders and boundaries. Pull up women weighed down by hurdles you’ll never know. Light up the Arab chapter of HeFor She. Because when everyone is for she, we’re greater than the sum of our parts.”
See HM Queen Rania’s full speech in the video below.