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Egyptians at the Top of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East

Egyptian women have dominated this year's rankings, with 22 entries in the top 100, two of which are in the top 10.

Forbes Middle East has just unveiled the names of its Most Powerful Arab Women for 2015 at a dazzling awards ceremony held in Dubai. The list, which includes the 100 Arab women whose achievements reached the top of their fields, is dominated by Egyptian women, as the country hogged 18% of entries overall across all three rankings, and 20% of entries in the world’s top 10 list.

Among the most powerful Egyptian women, Naglaa El Ehwany, Minister of International Cooperation, and Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity, dominate the Top 5 women in government, while Nemat Shafik (Deputy Governor at the Bank of England) and Dalia Mogahed (Chairperson at Mogahed Consulting), lead the worldwide top 10. The list also includes Nashwa Al Ruwaini, CEO at Pyramedia, the media company she launched herself in 1998.

Among the most powerful businesswomen, Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Al Olayan, head of Olayan Financing company, and Raja Easa Al Gurg, Managing Director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group in the UAE. 60% of the most powerful business women hold executive management positions, with another 24% having worked their way up to the top of their family business. The world ranking also includes Human Rights lawyer Amal Clooney, CNN’s journalist Hala Gorani and France’s Minister of Labor and National Education, both of Moroccan origin, Myriam El Khomry and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.   

The awards recognise the achievements of women in business and government while, in doing so, working towards a more equal working environment across the region. “The Middle East still has some way to go to reach true equality in the workplace,” said Forbes Middle East’s Editor-in-Chief, Khuloud Al Omian, at the ceremony. “By celebrating the women that are smashing through the glass ceilings and paving the way for future generations, we are throwing our support wholeheartedly behind them and encouraging all women to strive for their goals and aspirations, no matter what they may be."