Celebrating Empowered Emirati Women this UAE National Day
Empowering women is the hallmark of a prosperous, forward-looking country, and also good for society as a whole. A popular research by the United Nations (UN) has shown that countries where women form an integral part of the social and economic discourse have faster economic growth, better health, and higher education rates.
For this reason, the empowerment of women is key to the development of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The countryÔÇÖs leadership has placed gender equality as one of the pillars of UAE Vision 2021.
With this in mind, on the occasion of the 45th UAE National Day, hereÔÇÖs a look at some inspirational Emirati women (listed alphabetically) who are waving the national flag high on the world stage.
Elham Al Qasimi:
In 2010, Elham became the first Arab woman and the first UAE national to reach the North Pole, having embarked on an unsupported polar expedition ÔÇô with no food drops, no re-supplies and no visits to towns or settlements.
Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi:
The current UAE Minister for Tolerance, Lubna is the first woman to hold a ministerial post in the UAE. A member of the Sharjah royal family, she is President of Zayed University, and was listed this year by Forbes as the 43rd most powerful woman in the world. She has championed UAEÔÇÖs cause of free trade and openness across the world in her roles as Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Minister of Economics and Planning of the United Arab Emirates.
Mariam Al Mansouri:
Mariam is the first UAE national female fighter pilot, and was one of the very first women to join the countryÔÇÖs air force academy. She leads UAE mission airstrikes against terror groups, and has flown over Syria in an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Nada Al Bedwawi:
Nada competed in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in the womenÔÇÖs 50 metre freestyle swimming event, thus becoming the first female Olympic swimmer from the UAE to do so. She was the countryÔÇÖs flag bearer at the Olympic Parade of Nations during the opening ceremony.
Reem Al Marzouqi:
Engineer Reem is the first citizen of the UAE to be granted a patent in the United States of America. She received it for her invention of a car that can be driven without hands - the car is entirely foot controlled, and its system is the first of its kind.
Supporting women empowerment, global remittance brand UAE Exchange is also a champion of the cause. Earlier this year, the brand launched a branch staffed entirely by women. The outlet, at the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the Middle East by any exchange house and is also in line with the vision of the UAE Federal Government in bringing gender equality.
From the above examples of strong Emirati women, who are making a difference both in the country and on the global stage, each of us should draw inspiration and support women empowerment and inclusion in our own ways.
So, tell us which other Emiratis have inspired or influenced you?