The UAE’s experiment in empowering women has emerged as a shining model for many other countries in the region and the rest of the world, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the International Women’s Day.
It’s not only because of its qualitative achievements but also for the increasing role that women play in the local community, something that qualifies them to shoulder major responsibilities in nation building.
The UAE women have made remarkable achievements ever since the Union was established four decades ago, thanks to the visionary leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The late founding father, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, played a key role in giving women their rights as part of his pioneering and ambitious project to build both the nation and human being when he first became the ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and then after he founded the Union 43 years ago.
The UAE woman also received significant support and guidance from Shaikha 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, who helped raise her status in the community, enrich her and improve her work so as to serve her nation, community and family.
In order to ensure empowerment of women, the State has taken a series of measures, including putting in place certain national mechanisms and setting up women organisations whose prime goal is to develop women in various domains.
The General Women’s Union (GWU), for instance, is working to devise national strategic plans for advancement of women. Other women organisations like the Family Development Foundation (FDF) in Abu Dhabi, Dubai Women Establishment in Dubai, the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah and the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, are all working for the development, empowerment and advancement of women.
The UAE acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and joined other nine international conventions on regulation of work time, equal remuneration and other benefits. Further, the UAE has enacted legislation and laws, most notably the Federal Law for Combating Human Trafficking, to ensure legal protection to women and punish those who commit violent acts against women.
Leading the national efforts towards development and empowerment of women as a key partner in national development as part of the federal strategic plan, the President said: “The State, since the inception of the Union on December 2, 1971, has been concentrating on the development and empowerment of women so that she can assume her natural role as an active contributor in sustainable development.”