Industry: Culture and society
Company: Al Zayani Commercial Services
Afnan al Zayani is the CEO of the multi-million dollar company Al Zayani Commercial Services (AZCS). She has used her influence to constantly lobby for better conditions for women in Bahrain.
She is responsible for the passing of personal status laws in Bahrain that ensure the protection of Muslim women’s rights in divorce and custody proceedings, and helping women balance work and life. She was influential during her reign as head of the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society (BBS) and went on to lead the Middle East and North Africa Businesswomen’s Network. She also educates Bahraini businesswomen on mastering the benefits of the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement and lobbies for greater support for small and medium-sized businesses, many of which are run by women. She has also led the Middle East and North Africa Businesswomen’s Network and in 2010 received a Leadership in Public Life award from Vital Voices, a women’s empowerment organisation. Her list of distinctions is extensive — twice elected to the board of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, AND elected to the board of the Bahrain National Competitiveness Council.