Canon Middle East, Central and North Africa celebrated the first phase of its exceptional ‘Women Who Empower’ program with ten lucky winners for the months of May, June, July, August and September 2021.
Launched back in the beginning of the year 2021, the program invited women from different creative industries in the Middle-East, Central and North Africa with a social media campaign. The campaign was utilized further to highlight challenges and opportunities associated with women enterprising and scaling up their projects in the creative industries.
Focusing on four main pillars, the ‘Women Who Empower’ program was built upon this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge movement that witnessed people across the globe pose for photos with one hand held high to express their commitment challenging gender inequality, calling out gender biases and questioning stereotypes against women. Each of the four pillars had a female expert from a creative field allocated to it, that included ‘Women with a Vision’ led by Saudi photographer, artist and Canon ambassador Tasneem Alsultan, ‘Women with a Passion’ led by painter and artist Gehan Fawzi, ‘Women with a Story’ headed by art director, fashion photographer and Canon Ambassador Menna Hossam, and ‘Women with a Voice’ led by a lifestyle editor and journalist Marriam Massalli.
For the month of May and June 2021, Rana Salama and Houda Founou have been selected as the winners under Gehan Fawzi’s and Marriam Massalli’s mentorship respectively for the CCNA region. Whereas, Gifty Dzenyo and Kafui Praise are the designated winners for July and August 2021 under Tasneem Alsultan and ‘Marriam Massali respectively for the CCNA region. Rispah Wambugi was further chosen to be the winner for September 2021 who received guidance under Tasneem Alsultan. The Canon Middle-East region announced Meral Niazi and Rana Almoudi as winners under the mentorship of Menna Hossam and Tasneem Sultan for the months of May and June 2021 respectively. The July and August winners were declared to be Yomna Orban and Saba Karim, followed by Hala El Kouch for September 2021. The latter two winners were under the guidance of Tasneem Sultan whereas the former i.e. Yomna Orban received mentorship from Gehan Fawzi.
Speaking on the occasion, Rana Salama, contemporary artist and winner for Canon’s ‘Women with Passion’ pillar said, “It was a great pleasure and honor to be part of Canon’s Women Who Empower program that really supported us all in fast-tracking our progress and development. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my mentor Gehan as well as the Canon team for giving me this incredible opportunity that allows women to focus on their professional growth thus making them shine brighter in their respective fields by providing the right kind of assistance and guidance.”
The winners will benefit from a minimum of three masterclasses that are aimed at providing knowledge and skills needed for them to overcome the obstacles in their respective field of arts. Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director of Canon Middle East, Central and North Africa and Turkey said, “Hearty congratulations to all the winners of the Women Who Empower program. The mark of a truly progressive and developed society is when every individual inside of it feels empowered and confident. As a company, we want to use our position to encourage and empower women in the creative fields to express the challenges they face so we can reform our industry in a way that is truly supportive of artists irrespective of their genders. With that vision in mind, we launched the Women Who Empower program this year in March and the amount of participation we have received thus far is truly inspiring. These voices need to be heard and we are honored to offer them a platform to do so.”