"We do not only empower women but empower the whole community through women," a remarkable quote by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed which stresses on the fundamental roles women play in our society. Honoring all the incredible dynamic and active women in the UAE, the country booms with color as it celebrates its second Women’s Day. Not only does this day serve as a celebration for their achievements, but it is also a day where all women in the UAE spread inspiration and give thanks to the many generations of incredible women who have come before them.
Whether it has to do with politics, the court system, the commercial sector, or even the the diplomatic corps- Emarati women have done it all! Not to mention those awesome women from the armed forces of the UAE who climbed Mount Everest last May... because, I mean, that's incredibly cool.
As a result of the Constitution of the UAE (which guarantees equal rights for both men and women), the UAE is ranked by the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Gender Gap report as a leader in gender equality in the region. Through this constitution, women have rights to practice professions, claim to titles, access to education, the right to inherit property, attain legal statuses, and the same employment opportunities as men. Not only do women constitute 66% of public sector posts with 30% in senior and decision-making positions, but the UAE also has eight women serving in the UAE Cabinet- one of them being California State University graduate Sheikha Lubna Bin Qasimi, who was the first woman to be given a ministerial position. Her excellency currently holds position as the Minister of Tolerance, but was also the Minister of State for International Cooperation and the Minister of Economy and Planning of the UAE. Rated 43rd of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women, Her Excellency was given over 20 national and international awards.
Serving as the youngest minister in the world, Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui (aged 22) is the Minister of State for Youth Affairs and holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from NYUAD as well as a Master's degree from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar *knocks on wood* (incidentally she is also a graduate of the International School of Choueifat Abu Dhabi #schoolpride #thestandardofsuccessjustgothigher).
State Minister for Happiness, Ohood Al Roumi, is one woman out of many working in the Ministry of Happiness that reinforce the importance of happiness and driving people to flourish and reach their fullest potential.
20% of the diplomatic corps are made up by women, with female ambassadors for United Nations (Lana Nusseibeh- first female permanent representative to the UN), Spain, Portugal and Montenegro, and a female Consul General in Milan. Another fact worth noting is that four female judges currently serve in the courts of the UAE, the first sworn in being Khulood al Dhaheri (October 7 2008). Around two years ago from this date, the UAE proudly announced the establishment of the region's first military college for women-Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School. Mariam Al Mansouri, another sensational Emarati, is the country's first fighter pilot and was awarded the Asia Society’s Game Changer Award by the United Nations in October 2015 as well as the Pride of the Emirates medal.
Cheers to all the women who have contributed to the UAE’s making, blooming, and economic diversification!