A Message from Razan Al Mubarak on International Women’s Day 2023

Dear friends and dear colleagues,

I wanted to take this opportunity — on International Women’s Day — to say a few words about the importance of representation. Today – and every day – the best way to celebrate women is not only to include and elevate their voices, but to nurture them as leaders.

We all know that women are a central part of their communities, and the backbone of their families. They are mothers, sisters, daughters, and they are also key decision makers about food, land, and resource management. 

Women also, unfortunately, constitute the majority of the world’s poor and most vulnerable, and they’re most impacted by the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. But in representation, from community organizations to the highest of international offices, where their leadership is most needed, women’s voices are largely absent.

It would be easy, on a day like this, to pay lip service to nurturing female leaders. But we do need and want to do more than that. We need equal representation. We need to be sure the policies and solutions that we promote are not only co-created by women but also do not inherently exclude them.

As the first woman from the Arab world to head the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and now, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, I am determined to leave a blueprint for those who will follow.

Biodiversity loss and climate change affect all of us, all of us need to bring awareness, all of us need to advocate, all of us need to be heard.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Happy International Women’s Day!

— Razan Al Mubarak

Razan Al Mubarak speaks about tackling stereotypes of Arab women

In an interview published in The National on International Women’s Day, Razan Al Mubarak discusses the differences in her experiences as a woman in the UAE and on the international stage: 

“I can honestly say that I wasn’t stereotyped [in the UAE]. Maybe I was too young and too naïve to recognise that I had been stereotyped early in my career, but I am hearing more [stereotypes] internationally now that I am campaigning, than I ever had in the UAE.”

As the only woman running for president of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Razan describes her sense of duty to help challenge the stereotypes of Arab women: "Now that I am campaigning, I am struck more by the residual stereotype of an Arab woman, and it has been a great privilege to be able to turn this on its head.”

Women in the UAE have achieved a level of equality and parity seen only in the most progressive countries. More than fifty percent of STEM degree students in the UAE are women, half of the Federal National Council members and a third of the Cabinet are women, and according to the World Economic Forum, the UAE ranks second in wage equity.

Read Razan Al Mubarak's interview with The National here.