(MENAFN- Gulf Times) As a diplomat, I have witnessed the crucial role women play in building America's diplomatic relations in the world with their strong leadership, expanded network of contacts, and relationships based on mutual trust and understanding. I have seen how US embassies play key roles in enhancing US diplomatic ties with other countries and that women are instrumental in those efforts.
Under the guidance of Ambassador Timmy Davis, the embassy is committed to celebrating women all year, while also raising awareness about the ongoing struggles for gender equity.
Women have promoted peace and understanding between nations for centuries, working tirelessly to build bridges between cultures and communities. My own mother, a strong advocate for education and diplomacy, instilled in me a love for learning, exploration, and dialogue. My mother's example has had a significant impact on my life trajectory and set the foundation for my career in diplomacy.
Women's History Month is an important time to recognise and celebrate the contributions of women throughout history. This year's theme,“women who tell our stories,” highlights the vital role that women play in shaping our understanding of the world around us.
From writers and journalists to filmmakers and historians, women are at the forefront in telling stories that illuminate the human experience.
In the United States and Qatar, women continue to make significant contributions to the world of storytelling. American writers including Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, and Alice Walker created some of the most powerful and enduring works of literature in the country's history. Women like Hellen Keller, a deaf-blind disability rights advocate who published 12 books and was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor's degree. Journalists such as Barbara Walters, Gwen Ifill, and Joan Didion have fearlessly reported on the most pivotal news stories of our time. Filmmakers like Ava DuVernay capture the history of the United States and share stories of underrepresented groups. We should also acknowledge the original storytellers, Indigenous Americans, and women like Te Ata Fisher, who helped to popularise the tradition of Native American oral storytelling during a period of discrimination and prejudice.
Under the wise and inspirational leadership of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatari women play a critical role in shaping the nation's diplomatic, cultural, and educational landscape, and their collective journeys tell Qatar's story. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser is a leading visionary and advocate for education, and women's rights, in Qatar and around the world. Thanks to Her Highness Sheikha Moza, six US university branch campuses are thriving among the powerhouse that is Education City. Likewise, the dynamic vision and efforts of HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO of the Qatar Foundation, are developing the next generation of women leaders, innovators, engineers, researchers, and entrepreneurs.
Known for her significant contributions to the country's cultural and artistic landscape, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority, has created a hub for art and culture in the region, attracting world-class exhibitions, talent, and events to Qatar.
Minister of State for International Co-operation HE Lolwah bint Rashid AlKhater's work in diplomacy raised Qatar's profile on the international stage, while also advocating for human rights and women's education in conflict zones and marginalised communities.
My dear friend Dana Alfardan, Qatar's first female contemporary composer, singer, and songwriter, is breaking boundaries and bringing global communities together through her gift of song and composition. Sheikha Mayes al-Thani, the Chair of the US-Qatar Business Council and successful entrepreneur, has achieved success across several business sectors and is bringing the US-Qatar relationship closer through business and sub-national partnerships. I am awed and inspired by these amazing women leaders.
The list of Qatari women leaders is expansive and would take many pages to name. These women are making great strides in every facet of society. Their work and advocacy help create a more just and equal world, inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps. I am honoured to work alongside these incredible individuals.
As we celebrate Women's History Month, we remember the many women who have dedicated their lives to telling our stories. Throughout history, women have used their talents and creativity to shed light on global challenges and to propose innovative solutions. They remind us of the power of storytelling to connect us to one another, transcend parochial views of the world, and build lasting bonds of peace and community.
As Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, said in honour of this month,“We know that there is still far to travel, but we keep moving, guided by the strong hands of the women who came before us, continuing the path they forged with sweat and pain and love.”
The US embassy in Qatar celebrates the historical contributions of women this month, and all year. By doing so, we ensure their voices and stories continue to be heard and that the power of storytelling remains a force for positive change in the world. I am appreciative of the strong leaders I have met in Qatar and look forward to continuing to weave the beautiful story of the US-Qatari partnership together into the future.
* The writer is Deputy Chief of Mission at US embassy, Doha
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