Bold enough to walk the talk, bridge gender gap


Bold enough to walk the talk, bridge gender gap
The UAE government closely follows the global theme of #BeBoldForChange set for this year on International Women's Day.

Dubai - The UAE celebrates the 3rd Emirati Women's Day today


Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Mon 28 Aug 2017, 9:06 PM

Emirati women have set a precedence globally that they 'walk the talk', equipped with entrepreneurial skills the women have made foray into the UAE cabinet; holding high positions in board rooms; acquired family businesses; set up their own businesses and more - holding on the mantle to pave the way for future generation where the economic growth and development is the top priority.
The UAE celebrates the 3rd Emirati Women's Day today, in recognition of the contribution of the nation's women, and their role in the development and advancement of the country. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has chosen August 28, as the Emirati Women's Day, to celebrate the establishment of the General Women's Union on August 28, 1975.
The UAE government closely follows the global theme of #BeBoldForChange set for this year on International Women's Day and it is evident when names like Jukha Shater Ali Al Badawi, laboratory and radiology manager, Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital; Maitha Al Dossari, chief executive officer, Emaar Entertainment; Dr Dalya Al Muthanna, president & CEO, GE Gulf; Shamma Al Rahmah, head of strategic planning & portfolio management, group strategy and new business development, Enoc Group and Mona Al Tamimi, vice-president - marketing & corporate communications, Deyaar, stress that the Emirati women are here to scale heights of success with all the support from the country's leadership.
"We have been fortunate to have been given equal opportunities and access to resources that undoubtedly helped in promoting the role of women as contributors and drivers of positive change," said Shamma Al Rahmah of Enoc Group.
Almost 23,000 Emirati businesswomen run projects worth over Dh50 billion, and occupy 15 per cent of the positions in the boards of chambers of commerce and industry nationwide. So how is all this possible? According to Mona Al Tamimi, "Bring your best self to the workplace and find your own way to add value to your community. Empower other women, be they Emirati or other."

Yes, we can

One can also see a spurt of numerous women cohorts in the UAE encouraging the younger generation to invest in their own startups and be part of the digital economy disrupting the conventional approach by bringing in Innovation to forefront. That's why Al Tamimi urges the youth to seek education and "become the best version of yourself because you can!"
The vice-president of Deyaar said: "If you look at the Mena region, the UAE is at the forefront of gender equality. In fact, the UAE Cabinet has eight positions filled by women and also has the highest number of women on the Forbes Middle East list of the 'Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Businesswomen 2017 with 18, followed closely by Egypt with 16. Every day, with the support of the UAE leadership, we get closer and closer to reducing the gender gap. We have our own Gender Balance Council aimed at providing equal opportunities for men and women to participate in the sustainable development of the UAE. Our achievements in the UAE would not be possible without our leaders' support and vision. They have provided opportunities for women across all fields, including holding top positions across corporate boards and governmental entities. These achievements stem from the vision of the UAE's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who felt strongly about equipping Emirati women with the best education, protecting their rights, and safeguarding their political participation through the constitution."

Celebrate your success 

Maitha Al Dossari, Emaar Entertainment CEO, said: "Celebrating women's achievements creates visibility and motivates other women to contribute, amplifying the positive impact. Women must also celebrate their own achievements and successes, and lay out a roadmap for the future generation through their inspiring and empowering stories of success. As a nation, we need everyone to work hand-in-hand to ensure that women continue the current trajectory of success, which the Government of UAE and our pioneering leaders have helped made possible."
When asked if Al Dossari, agrees that women are considerably contributing to the UAE economy, given the spurt in businesses and innovation? She said: "Of course! Women form a significant proportion of the population and have limitless potential. We already see women across all industries contributing to the UAE economy, acting as catalysts for sustainable development; in government, in the cabinet, in private sector, in commerce - even in sectors that were considered to be male bastions, such as aeronautics and engineering - women are making their mark. As we witness a rapid increase in opportunities for women in the UAE, we must continue to be at the forefront in contributing to the nation's progress, as we have done in the past. It's paramount that women define their role in all industries to highlight their significant contribution to the economy and to be recognised as leaders in driving future development.
"In fact, the government of the UAE is also invested in providing meaningful platforms and opportunities for women to contribute, such as the creation of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Gender Inequality Index. Our leaders are ensuring there are foundations for continued women empowerment in place so that every woman in our great Nation can reach her full potential." 
Meanwhile, Al Badawi of Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital spread a message of support and encouragement at KidZania® Dubai, by interacting with the younger generation so that they can continue to strive for success. "My message to my Emirati sisters is that the leadership of UAE has provided innumerable platforms for women to demonstrate their abilities and it is up to us women to make the most of the avenues available to us. Our leadership recognises our efforts towards building a better society and Emirati Women's Day should be a reminder each year that we are a contributor to the greatness and pride of our nation." 
Dr Dalya Al Muthanna of GE Gulf remarked that the Emirati Women's Day is a celebration of the achievements of women in the country, and an inspiration for our new and future generation of women to achieve even more remarkable accomplishments that will add to the pride of our country. The UAE is among the first nations in the region, if not the world, to have successfully broke through the glass ceiling with women leaders today in government and all sectors of business including in technical careers. She said: "The enabling and inclusive environment of the UAE, led by the vision of its leaders, has played a central role in building a highly educated and skilled women workforce, who are committed partners in nation-building. Emirati women continue to excel in all walks of life - from arts and sports to business and governance - and they also play a key role in boosting small and medium entrepreneurship. The creative thinking and innovative approaches of modern tech-savvy Emirati women support the UAE's journey to achieving its Vision 2021 to be among the best nations in the world."

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