The First International Saudi Veterinary Medical Society Conference of last October included a Workshop dedicated to ‘Women’s Empowerment in the Gulf Area: Looking forward to a better future’.Dr Shereen Al-Kazaz, a veterinary doctor and laboratory specialist from Bahrain, also a member of the WVA Working Group on One Health, lead this meeting which fostered discussions on:
– Defining the vital role of the veterinary doctor in the community
– Defining the challenges faced by female veterinarians in the Gulf society
– What opportunities does a female veterinarian need to be more successful and productive in her community
The workshop was well attended and had the participation of Dr. Salah Al-Shami President of SVMS and WVA Councillor for Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Roula Shaaban President of EVA and WVA Councillor for Middle East and North Africa and Dr Rafael Laguens, WVA President.
The topics approached highlighted the need to increase the recognition of the societal value of veterinary profession, in its multiple specialties, and as a scientific profession. It was pointed out that higher solidarity among professionals and governmental support would be the key for improvement.
Regarding female veterinarians, it was mentioned that providing encouragement, sharing of experiences, leadership, and skill building programs, as well as opportunity to balance work and personal life would benefit female professionals in the Gulf region.
At the end of this workshop, the Saudi Veterinary Association urged all to provide the much-needed encouragement and material support to female veterinarians, as they as fully deserving of and able to excel in the various fields of the profession, both regionally and internationally.