Game Changers – a non-fiction book on how women in the Arab world are changing the rules and shaping the future – has been named The Best International Non-Fiction Book at the Sharjah International Book Fair.
‘Game Changers’ explores the reasons behind why despite having higher-than-average levels of education and work-ready skills, the region continues to have the lowest rates of female participation in the labour force in the world.
The book was written by David B Jones, Radhika Punshi and Sophie Le Ray, and is published by Dubai-based Motivate Books. The authors, David B. Jones and Radhika Punshi are labour market and human capital experts and are thought leaders and pioneers in supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Sophie Le Ray is the CEO of Naseba and the founder of Global WIL Economic Forum, a socio-economic platform that promotes gender diversity in leadership positions, in public and private sectors globally.
Commenting on the win and what it means for women in the Arab world, Sophie says, ““Today, diversity is the cornerstone of sustainable economic development. Governments across the GCC recognise this and are increasingly making women’s economic empowerment a key pillar of their strategic visions. Even in the short time since we wrote the book, we have seen major advancements across the region and it shows no sign of stopping. I am honoured at the recognition that ‘Game Changers’ has received because this is testament to the game-changing work that women continue to undertake across the Arab world every day.”
On the occasion, David commented, “Without doubt, increasing the employment of women across the region is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do for governments and employers”. He added, “As we continue to support women to take on managerial and leadership roles within organisations, we also need to significantly commit to providing safe, respectful and secure working conditions for the thousands of women at the bottom of the pyramid, such as our domestic workers and house staff.”
The award was presented to the authors by His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah at the opening gala of the Sharjah International Book Fair.
Radhika added, “It was important for us to write this book to address the stereotypes and misperceptions by the external world on the accelerated progress the GCC has made in terms of economic and social empowerment. While there is plenty more that needs to be done, it’s important to take a step back to reflect, recognise and celebrate how far we have really come in a relatively short period of time.”
Talking about how regional publishers in the region are supporting local narratives, Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner and Group Editor Motivate Group commented, “’We at Motivate are proud to have worked with David, Radhika and Sophie to publish Game Changers. Receiving this award is definitely a sign that people are taking note of the important topic of female inclusion in the region’s workforce—the first book to address this topic in the region.”
The Sharjah International Book Fair is the third-largest book fair in the world and the recognition comes as an acknowledgement for writers and publishers based in the region