Theresa May Shares Inspirational Messages at Women’s Forum in Dubai
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Theresa May Shares Inspirational Messages at Women’s Forum in Dubai

Theresa May, Member of Parliament and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, talked about gender equality and encouraged women to take up leadership roles

Former British Prime Minister and Member of Parliament Theresa May shared inspirational messages for women at the Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 on Monday. Addressing women in the audience, she asked them not to think they can’t get something because they are women. She said, “I think it is very important that you don’t sort of think of yourself just as a woman in [a key] role,” adding that it was important to have women in key positions in order to inspire the younger generation.

She said, “If women, young women particularly, don’t see women in government, don’t see women in politics and don’t see women in senior positions in business, they are less likely to think that that is the role they can aspire to. So, having those numbers is important.”

Expressing what gender equality means to her, Theresa said, "Fundamentally it’s about making sure that women and men have equal opportunities. We need to ensure we have the legislative background that doesn’t discriminate against women, and the support mechanisms in place to enable women to achieve what they want to achieve. It’s also about attitude though – and ensuring that nobody makes an assumption about what you can do because of your gender. When we look at men and women, either of these could be a leader."

She said can be as tough as male leaders, along with being good listeners and acting in “a more consensual way.”

Theresa, who was UK’s second female Prime Minister from 2016-2019 and has worked with the government for 23 years, met with Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on the sidelines of the forum. She also spent some time in conversation with the UAE’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Lana Nusseibeh.

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By Ayesha Hoda
Ayesha Hoda is a senior communications professional and writer, currently based in Dubai, UAE.