Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the GWU organised the Emirati Women Forum under the theme ''Emirati Servicewomen: Achievements and Gains'' to mark the 1st Emirati Women's Day, observed on 28th August.
''On this day, 28th August 2015, we dedicate our celebration of the first Emirati Women's Day to the mothers of the martyrs who did not hesitate to offer their sons as heroes and martyrs for the sake of their motherland. We also dedicate it to the women in military service who left the life of comfort and luxury to protect their country and to see its flag flying high,'' HH Sheikha Fatima said in a speech for the event, read out on her behalf by Reem Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
''We are pleased to see our leadership and our people coming together as one, as President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared that the 30th November every year will be observed as 'Martyrs' Day' in memory of and in tribute to the sacrifices offered by the nation's martyrs and its loyal people, who offered their lives to keep the UAE flag aloft while they were performing their national duties inside and outside the country, in civilian, military and humanitarian fields.'' Sheikha Fatima urged Emirati women to maintain the achievements made and to work harder towards more achievements, progress and empowerment, harnessing the substantial resources available to them and the political support provided to them.
"I also urge Emirati women to actively participate in the upcoming Federal National Council elections, in order to play an effective role in the next legislative chapter," she said.
Noura Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the GWU, addressed the event, saying ''A woman enjoys equal rights with her partner. Since the establishment of the UAE, the prudent leadership has spared no efforts in upholding fundamental human rights in general and woman in particular in a bid to introduce paradigm shift in the social system without compromising local values and traditions.
She noted that the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, was the first staunch supporter for women's development and empowerment, paving the way for her to achieve spectacular accomplishments in a record time. The same approach, she indicated, was cherished, championed and pursued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
''HH Sheikha Fatima has been working diligently over decades to remove any obstacles hindering the progress of the woman,'' she added.
Women in the UAE, she noted, had joined the military, one of the most tough and honest jobs that was once dominated by men. However, national duty and defence of the homeland, had prompted women to join the military on an equal footing with men and her role went beyond the desk to combat and field operations.
Conditions for Emirati women have changed and they have been provided with exceptional circumstances that have enabled them to compete strongly in social, educational, economic, political, cultural and legal sectors.
Dr. Fatima Al Shamsi of the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) gave a presentation on empowerment and leadership of Emirati women in sustainable development. Squadron Leader Latifa Al Zeydi presented a paper on Emirati women in the military. Other papers spoke about support provided by the Ministry of Interior for women in general and those in national service. –End-
Image by: www.wam.ae