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Women’s perspectives take centre stage at AVPN Global Conference

Women’s perspectives take centre stage at AVPN Global Conference
24 Apr 2024 09:14

SARA ALZAABI (ABU DHABI)

The AVPN Global Conference 2024 is poised to set a new bar for creativity, leadership, and humanitarian giving for the coming years, said Her Excellency Shamma bint Sohail Faris Al Mazrui, the Minister of Community Development.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Office of Development and Martyrs’ Families Affairs at the Presidential Court and Chairman of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council, the conference, Asia’s largest network of social investors, heard from women leaders, who shared their insights on addressing challenges related to health, climate change and social issues.

In her keynote address during the conference in Abu Dhabi, Al Mazrui highlighted that the UAE values serving, embodying philanthropy as a key aspect of its leadership, influenced by its founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

“In the UAE’s dictionary, philanthropy means acts of service because serving is love, and the UAE’s identity lies in serving. Our leadership touches the world through service, a legacy of our Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” said Al Mazrui.
She also stressed on the UAE leadership’s perspective on philanthropy, portraying it as “a service that illuminates the power of love carried by all”.

Also addressing the event, Neera Nundy, co-founder of Dasra, a philanthropy organisation based in India, shared their focus of work.

“We work with philanthropists, families, and companies to raise funds, focusing on supporting community-based organisations, NGOs, and nonprofits working with India’s most vulnerable,” Nundy said.

Dasra’s focus generally encompasses supporting climate, gender, arts, culture, mental health, and family engagement through platforms, collaborative funds, and philanthropy, aiming to create a positive impact.

In her address, Bonney Corbin, Director of Advocacy at MSI Asia Pacific, which supports women in accessing healthcare, said that the AVPN conference is an important space for people across Asia to meet and discuss women’s health, collaboration, climate change, and resilience.

“It is fantastic to see so many women here and to hear keynote speakers discussing how we can all work together across communities to address important issues that philanthropists aim to impact meaningfully,” Corbin said.

She stressed the vital role of collaboration, health literacy, and women’s health investment, by saying, “We are at a time in the world where women’s health is so important for climate resilience. We know that investing in women will lead to community-wide impacts.”

Sam Tiwari, the Head of Philanthropy for the UK and European region at MSI, emphasised the importance of supporting women’s health needs as a global issue. “There are probably four billion women in the world, and their health needs are the same. It doesn’t matter which country or continent we belong to; women’s health needs are exactly the same everywhere. When there are barriers to accessing healthcare, it impacts women’s ability to take care of themselves.”

“As an international community, if we want to invest in empowering communities to adapt to climate change, we believe that women’s health is one of the most critical areas of investment.”

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