2005 News Story

Saudi woman wins UN award for work with NGOs

Dr. Mona Al-Munajjed was one of twelve winners who at a ceremony on June 1 at the United Nations in New York received awards for the 2005 ‘UN-21’ competition. Dr. Al-Munajjed was honored for her work with non-government organizations (NGOs) in the Kingdom, specifically for her project ‘Activating the Role of Women's Welfare Associations in Saudi Arabia’.

The award was set up in 1996 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to recognize innovation, efficiency and excellence in the delivery of UN programs and services. Dr. Al-Munajjed is employed as a social affairs officer at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), in charge of social development projects for Saudi Arabia with the main focus on gender and human resources. She was involved in two UN projects last year, both funded by the Saudi company of Abdul Latif Jameel – the first time for the private sector in the Kingdom to fund such projects. One project is in training for income-generating skills in rural areas. The other, for which she won the UN award, coordinates with the Ministry of Social Affairs to increase capacity-building and improve NGOs’ level of output.

Dr. Al-Munajjed has worked as a sociologist with a number of UN agencies. She has had two books published and is currently working on a third, which will recount the personal histories of twenty notable Saudi women.