The equal partnership: female pioneers in the UAE urge women to play a role in society
ABU DHABI // Education, wise leadership and a fair constitution are the key reasons for women’s empowerment in the country.
Female pioneers in politics say they are equal partners in UAE life and that is the reason for their success.
Dr Nidhal Al Tenaiji, general manager at the Zayed Cultural Foundation and a former Federal National Council member, said the huge development of the UAE in a short period of time was down to this equal partnership.
“Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan was a wise man and he worked hard in the transformation of the country and that is the main key in the success of Emirati women,” she told the Women Empowerment March symposium in the capital on Wednesday.
“And today, the vision is reflected in the leaders, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, in setting clear steps for women, with clear goals to develop the country.”
She said having a fair constitution using Islamic Sharia had allowed all people in the country to be equal.
Dr Al Tenaiji added that women’s participation in politics was important to “preserve women’s advancement”.
“We are required to preserve this achievement. A woman must balance her role [in politics] and conserve her identity as an Emirati.
“A woman is like the spinal cord in the society – she is a sister, a mother and an employee. Her presence in society is vital,” she said.
She stressed the importance of women’s participation in the FNC.
“A woman knows what other women want, she knows everything that affects women and their affairs and she has the ability to highlight certain points,” she said.
FNC member from Umm Al Qaiwain, Dr Shaikha Al Ari, said being part of the council was a journey that added to her experience.
She said she reached the council because the community was convinced a woman’s participation was necessary.
“Where we got to, we did not get to easily. We have passed through a tough life, where men had to travel to make a living. They have left the management of the household and the family to the woman and that speaks of trust,” she said.
Dr Al Ari praised the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, for his vision and leadership and said he was the reason for the country’s development.
“He believed in women. He built schools and universities for both men and women. The education I received was the same one my brothers have received. And we worked together in the same positions and received the same pay. That is because the leadership has pushed us,” Dr Al Ari said.
She told the audience that any woman was able to have a role in politics and society but she must give herself the chance to learn.
“Ask yourself, are you a leader? You must have the ability to develop your skills, no one will do it for you.”
Being a member of the council, she said her role was to “interact, help and love” the community she is surrounded by.
The symposium took place at the General Women’s Union in Abu Dhabi.
Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM