Seminars & Events

Special SeminarInternational Symposium (Online)

"Economic and Social Participation of Women in the Middle East: Challenges, Opportunities, and Business Collaboration with Japan"

* This symposium will be held on “Zoom Webinar”. English-Japanese simultaneous interpretation will be provided through the Zoom Language Feature. Please make sure that the latest Zoom app is installed on your PC or mobile device.

Women in the Middle East are facing drastic changes in their personal and professional lives. As their freedom in society is growing, doors for social and economic participation are also opening. The expanding participation and new lifestyles accompanying it may bring opportunities for Japanese and Middle Eastern businesses both in the existing and new consumer markets for women. Until today, women’s perspectives have been rarely an agenda of exchanges between Japan and the Middle East in various fields, but in future, those perspectives are considered the key to the success of diversified and long-term relationship between Japan and the Middle East.

This symposium provides an opportunity for increasing mutual understanding between Japan and the Middle East by addressing questions such as the following: What progress and social transformation do we see in the Middle East with regard to SDG-5 (gender equality)? What future do Middle Eastern female entrepreneurs see for themselves? Further, what impact does COVID-19 pandemic have on Middle Eastern societies, and especially on women and their businesses? For the purpose, this symposium will feature distinguished professional women in the Middle Eastern countries to discuss the current state of female participation in the societies in the region including its background as well as achievements through and challenges for the participation. With the discussion, the symposium will update perspectives for empowering women in the region and even applicable globally, which will help to explore opportunities for new business collaboration between Japan and Middle Eastern countries.


Session (1) Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 15:00-17:00 (Japan Standard Time)
Session (2) Thursday, March 4, 2021, 15:00-17:00 (Japan Standard Time)

*The session may extend beyond 17:00 if necessary.


Online (zoom Webinar)


Wednesday, March 3, 2021 Session (1) Realities and Challenges in Economic and Social Participation by Women of the Middle East


Lecture Theme


Opening Remarks
Mr. Kyoji Fukao (President, IDE-JETRO)


Ms. Mayumi Murayama (Executive Vice President, IDE-JETRO)


Women’s Economic and Social Participation in Jordan: Institutions and Reality


Her Excellency Ms. Lina Annab, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Women’s economic and social participation in Saudi Arabia: institutions and reality


Ms. Salma Al Rashid, The Women 20 Sherpa, Chief Advocacy Officer, Al Nahda Society for Women, Saudi Arabia

15:30-15:40 Break


Women’s economic and social participation in Gulf countries: business environment for women

Dr. Namie Tsujigami, Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University
SDGs and women’s economic and social participation in Middle East

Mr. Hiroshi Sato, Chief Senior Researcher, Research Operations Department, IDE-JETRO

16:00-16:10 Break
16:10-17:00 Q&A, Discussion

Thursday, March 4, 2021 Session (2) Women in Business: Scope of enhanced partnership between the Middle East and Japan


Lecture Theme


Address by the Honorary Guest
Ms. Tomoko Hayashi, Director-General, Gender Equality Bureau, the Cabinet Office


Mr. Ichiro Sone, Executive Vice President, JETRO


Female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and business collaboration opportunities with Japan


Ms. Al Anoud Al Sheikh, Member, Saudi Women Labour Council , Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, and Founder and Executive Director, Rafeef Najd Trading Co., Saudi Arabia

Female consumers in Gulf countries: Gender investment and recommendations toward business collaboration


Ms. Misao Gunji, Board Member, Motoko Katakura Foundation for Desert Culture

Businesses in the Middle East: Prospect for Business Collaboration


Mr. Masaru Nishiura, Senior Director for Global Strategy, Middle East, JETRO

16:00-16:10 Break
16:10-17:00 Q&A, Discussion

*Please note that due to time constraint, it may be difficult to take all questions. The program may be subject to change without prior notice.


Japanese and English (Simultaneous interpretation between English and Japanese will be available on zoom platform.)
Presentation materials are in English only.


Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO)


200 people (each day)

Participation fee:


Outreach Event Division, Research Operations Department, IDE-JETRO
E-mail: sympo-sc