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16/10/2014 - 07:00hs

Jordanian woman wins UN Prize

The Unctad’s Empretec Women in Business Award went to Lina Jalil Khalifeh, who founded the first women-only personal defence studio in the Middle East.

Press Release

Khalifeh: an answer to domestic violence

São Paulo – The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has announced this Wednesday (15th) that Jordan’s Lina Jalil Khalifeh has won the fourth edition of the Empretec Women in Business Awards. According to the Unctad, Khalifeh is the founder of SheFighter, a company that offers training in personal defence techniques to women in her country.

The Unctad grants the award to women from developing countries who have established successful businesses, created jobs and inspired other people in their communities. The winners of this edition were announced at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, during the Unctad-sponsored World Investment Forum 2014.

“"Domestic violence against women inspired me to empower women both physically and emotionally: it's going well and I'm sure it can work in other countries,” said Khalifeh, according to a Unctad press release.

According to the Unctad, SheFighter is the first personal defence studio for women and girls in the Middle East. Over 10,000 have trained at the facility. In 2012, UN Women announced that 32.3% of Jordanian women reported to have been victims of violence and that the country has a high rate of “honour murders,” i.e. crimes committed as a result of adultery, for instance.

Press Release

Training session at the studio

Zimbabwe’s Divine Ndhlukula placed second in the Unctad’s award. Her company, Securico, supplies security products and services. The third place is Argentina’s Maria Eugenia Picasso, whose company creates innovative educational games designed to stimulate the development of cognitive, motor, emotional and social abilities, and therapeutic products for rehabilitation treatments.

The award had ten finalists, including Brazil’s Kelly Dantas de Vasconcelos, from the children’s school Universidade da Criança, in Macapá, Amapá.

Two finalists – Jordan’s Leena Irshaid and Argentina’s Pabla Anabela Torres – won special awards for their work in social and green entrepreneurship, respectively. The former established the first pickle factory in Jordan, completely managed by women, and the latter founded a start-up company that manufactures organic crop protection products, including a biopesticide.

Unctad has released two videos about the finalists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOzHMZ4PbcY&feature=youtu.be and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1C5UxPhCs8&feature=youtu.be.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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