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Report of the 1st International Military Women Conference

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1st International Military Women Conference
Manama, Bahrain
30th November - 1st December, 2010

Report

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Report of the 1st International Military Women Conference
Manama, Bahrain

The first international conference for military women was held November 30 through December 01 in Bahrain. This magnificently well-organized conference was hosted under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabika BINT IBRAHIM AL KHALIFA, wife of His Majesty the King of Bahrain. The event was a great success and was extensively reported in the press and on television. About 1,300 people attended the Opening Ceremony.

Delegations came from many countries and most of them were very actively involved in the conference and gave presentations. This was the case for: Algeria, Australia, Belgium, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

The program topics were covered by means of presentations and workshops.

Participants had the opportunity to share their experience of women’s integration into the army or the police. Workshops on leadership, training and mentoring or women in combat gave rise to interesting and enriching discussions.

It became clear from the conference that all over the world, the same problems are occurring, the same situations can be found (in varying degrees) and that sharing experience allows women to learn and progress more rapidly.

To conclude the conference, the organizers attempted to put forward some universal recommendations and these will be presented as a written document shortly.

All representatives came away from the conference with the conviction that this trial event should be repeated periodically in different countries. It was even suggested that an Ad Hoc group within the ICMM could be created, thus using the resource of an existing organization. The aims are slightly different, but it is true that we find the highest percentage of military women within the health services. Indeed several doctors were among the organizing committee and the delegations.

Alongside the conference, foreign delegations had the opportunity to visit the military hospital, guided by Brig. Prof. Khalid BIN ALI AL KHALIFA (Head of Bahrain health services) and were able to meet the Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Maj. Gen. Dr. Mohammed BIN ABDULLA AL KHALIFA.

Everyone attending praised the host country, Bahrain, for their superb organization and warm welcome.