Under veil, there are great minds, says Shaikha Jawaher

SHARJAH — Women in ‘abaya’ in the UAE are capable of making great achievements and can be on par with men, Shaikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Family Supreme Council (SFSC) and wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, said.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sat 3 Nov 2007, 8:47 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:34 AM

Under the veil, there are intellectuals and great minds, she told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview after a high tea with reporters at her palace on the occasion of the silver jubilee of the Sharjah Ladies Club.

“The SFSC and its affiliates, including the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), Children Development Centre and Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC), have not been formed for the Ruler’s wife, daughter or sister to chair them but to contribute to social development,” said Shaikha Jawaher.

Sharjah development bodies are making great efforts to uplift the lives of women, children and people with special needs. For instance, the SCHS has rehabilitated hundreds of disabled people and the Al Thiqa Club has provided them with job opportunities, she said.

The Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) was the first club for women in the UAE. It was also the first to organise sports activities for women. The SLC’s basketball and volleyball teams have won laurels in many championships in the Gulf region.

The club, established 25 years ago, used to be a place where women gathered and involved in various recreational activities. With the course of time, the club has emerged as a main body for development activities for women, including education. Incidentally, Sharjah was the first emirate to open a girl’s school in the UAE, Shaikha Jawaher said.

The club has always encouraged women to make their mark in all walks of life and Sharjah was the first emirate to give women a chance to participate in political life and be part of decision-making process through the Sharjah Consultative Council. Dr Aisha Al Roumi, who is currently a member of the UAE Federal National Council, was the first woman member of the Sharjah Consultative Council, she said.

The awareness programmes, lectures and dialogues with women of other nations organised by the club have greatly contributed to women development in the emirate.

In line with its concerns for rural women, the club has set up branches in eastern region and other rural parts, Shaikha Jawaher said.

These branches have been named after the particular areas like Al Madam Ladies Club and Kalba Ladies Club. These branches are organising various activities like training in various jobs to help rural women to catch up with development progress.

Asked about the current activities, Shaikha Jawaher said it is now focusing on giving sportswomen their rightful place in the society. A new sports division has been added to give women an opportunity to practise throws and participate in championships in the region and around the world.

The club is prepared to fund its activities all by itself rather than depending on government support, she said.

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