Changing Perceptions, Changing Society

Sofana Dahlan

Sofana Dahlan

Sofana Dahlan is both a lawyer and the Founder and CEO of Tashkeil, a Saudi Arabia-based social enterprise that incubates and promotes creative entrepreneurs. In her talk, Sofana talks about the identity and capabilities. She also talks about being able to take bold choices and having the courge to change her self and things around her. With her daughter in mind, she explains the obstacles and social barriers that women face. She urges women from all over the world to overcome hardships and define their own identities based on what they want for themselves, rather than what society may want for them.

She is a leader in her field with a long history of philanthropic and public interest activities. She has written extensively on topics such as women’s rights, social values and inter-religious dialogue. She was the first Saudi to serve as fellow for the UNAOC in a tour of Europe and the US. She is a frequent public speaker including at the Women’s Media Centre for Progressive Women’s Voices workshop in media training and at the UNAOC Forum in Doha where she was selected to close the session with Sheikha Moza. She was also chosen to participate in the Harvard Executive Program “Leading for the Future: the Arab Region in a Changing World” where she was representing Tashkeil.

In addition to her philanthropic and social enterprise work, Sofana has served as a legal consultant in comparative Arab law for Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy in Kuwait. As a legal scholar, she has lived in different parts of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait. She completed an LLB degree and an LLM in Islamic Law at the Faculty of Law in Cairo University. She has also received an MBA from the American University of Technology and is the first Saudi female to be given Saudi Ministry of Higher Education permission to study law.