A Day to Appreciate and Honor Emirati Women

  • 29 August 2015

The UAE yesterday celebrated the Emirati Women’s Day, which was declared last November by Her Highness Mother of the Nation Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of Family Development Foundation and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. The day coincides with the foundation of the Women’s Federation in 1975. Emirati Women’s Day assumes significance because of the achievements UAE women have made in various fields. It sheds light on their empowerment and how they have become role models for women in the region.

The Mother of the Nation has shown concern for Emirati women and helped boost their academic and professional capacities as empowerment enables them to contribute towards sustainable development alongside men. Her Highness has played a pioneering role in the progress of Emirati women. She founded the first women’s assembly on 8 February 1973, the responsibilities of which have now been undertaken by Abu Dhabi Women’s Association. This has been due to the support of Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul) who welcomed women participation for the sake of developing the country. Since then, women associations have flourished across the country. For better coordination among these associations, the Women’s Federation, on 28 August 1975, launched several important projects in the fields of health, culture, education, knowledge and education. These projects focused on developing Emirati woman’s capacities and equipped her with modern sciences.

Women have been a major component of the UAE’s social development. They have been participating in various fields as part of the developmental philosophy of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him). He believes in the importance of women’s contribution in the process of development and in giving them the positions they deserve. Emirati women have proved that they are capable of handling missions in various public sector divisions. They have entered into the diplomatic field as ambassadors, ministers plenipotentiary, second and third secretaries in the UAE embassies throughout the world. They have played an important role during this phase of empowerment and occupy seven seats in the Federal National Council. Women constitute 17.5 percent of 40 parliament seats, one of the highest representations in the Arab world and beyond.

The UAE’s women empowerment experience has been lauded by Arab and international organizations. The latest example has been the UAE being ranked at the top in the Arab world in women empowerment as per the annual report of Arab Women Foundation released in 2014. This report lauded the UAE’s approach towards women empowerment in all fields. The UAE has occupied top rank in treating women with respect as per Social Progress Index launched by World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council in 2014. Thus, Emirati Women’s Day is an important occasion for honoring women in the UAE and appreciating their achievements.