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UAE Champions Women Empowerment

This year’s International Women’s Day coincides with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to introduce initiatives, programmes, and strategies to elevate women’s status and strengthen their role in various communities…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE is celebrating the annual International Women’s Day to highlight its support for women, their empowerment, and advocacy for their rights globally and regionally.

This year’s International Women’s Day coincides with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to introduce initiatives, programmes, and strategies to elevate women’s status and strengthen their role in various communities.

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan wrote a heartfelt tribute to the women worldwide.

Taking to X platform, Sheikh Mohamed stated: “On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the essential contributions of women worldwide in shaping a more peaceful, prosperous, and vibrant future for all. Every day, your drive to achieve collective progress and uplift others in success serves as a lasting inspiration in the UAE and around the world.”

The UAE’s efforts to support women are notably represented by the initiatives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), who is a leading advocate for women’s issues globally.

Over many years, Sheikha Fatima has sponsored, chaired, and supported a series of specialist regional and international conferences aimed at empowering women and enhancing their stature, such as the World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975 and Copenhagen in 1980, and the 3rd Regional Conference on Women in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula in Kuwait in 1981.

The country hosted the same conference in Abu Dhabi in 1984 and the 11th Arab Conference for Arab Female Guides in Abu Dhabi at the end of 1988.

Sheikha Fatima’s sponsorship of women gradually took on a more specialist and comprehensive character, as she has led conferences covering the topics of women in technology, women and media, elderly care, businesswomen, women and humanitarian security, and other related areas. She was also one of the founding members of the Arab Women Organisation (AWO), as well as the Arab Women Summit, and sponsored the establishment of the Arab Family Organisation, which is based in the UAE.

Under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima, the UAE hosted, in October 2019, a ceremony and seminar to launch the Arab Charter on Women’s Rights, organised by the Federal National Council (FNC), in collaboration with the Arab Parliament.

The UAE’s efforts have been pivotal in issuing and adopting many historic international initiatives, decisions, and draft resolutions whose positive impacts extend to women around the world. Most notable is COP28, which was recently held in the country and showcased women’s contributions to climate change issues. The Gender Equality Day at COP28 witnessed the announcement of a new partnership aimed at achieving an organised, responsible, fair, and logical transition in the energy sector while considering gender equality, supported by more than 60 parties.

In early March 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations (UN) Women Liaison Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries launched, under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima known as the “Climate Change and Gender Equality” initiative.

Last October, the UN Human Rights Council, with the participation of both the UAE and the UK, adopted a draft resolution on achieving equality and ensuring every girl’s right to education.

Last June, the UAE announced an additional US$15 million contribution to UN Women from 2023 to 2025.

Currently, the UAE holds, for the second time, an executive membership in UN Women from 2023 to 2025, having been elected as a member of the council from 2013 to 2019 and after becoming its president in 2017. The UAE has provided more than $46 million in voluntary contributions to UN Women.

Women’s empowerment in peace and security is one of the UAE’s top priorities during its membership in the UN Security Council for 2022-2023.

In partnership with UN Women, the UAE launched, in 2019, the “The Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women Peace and Security Initiative,” which graduated hundreds of recruits from the Arab region, Africa, and Asia, with the aim of achieving full, equal, and effective women’s participation in the security sector.

Last April, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution drafted by both the UAE and Japan, as co-penholders for the Afghanistan file, condemning the Taliban’s decisions to ban Afghan women from working for the UN in the country.

Looking back at the past few years, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted, in June 2017, a draft resolution presented by the UAE during the council’s 35th session in Geneva regarding the right of girls to education.

Since the establishment of the country in 1971, the UAE has been keen to join international conventions that address women’s issues and protect their rights.

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