Tributes paid to Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak ahead of Emirati Women’s Day

Mother of the Nation thanked for tireless efforts in improving gender equality

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Dozens of tributes were paid to the UAE’s Mother of the Nation on Tuesday ahead of Emirati Women’s Day.

Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak was hailed by officials for spearheading efforts to improve gender equality across the country.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, led the accolades by referring to all Emirati women as the “hearts of the country”.

"On Emirati Women's Day, which falls on August 28 of each year, we celebrate mothers, sisters, wives and daughters," he said on Twitter.

"We celebrate our partners in the UAE's march [development] and the mothers of our martyrs," he added, referring to members of the UAE Armed Forces who died in service to their country.

"We thank the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak."

Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said Sheikha Fatima had been responsible for caring for and protecting thousands of women.

She said the Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation continued to be an instrumental figure in women’s empowerment.

Sheikha Fatima launched Emirati Women’s Day in 2015 to bring recognition to the crucial role of women in the country.

The annual celebration coincides with the founding of the General Women's Union, of which Sheikha Fatima is president, more than 40 years ago in 1975.

In 2017, Sheikha Fatima, widow of the late founding President of the UAE, was honoured by UN Women, a global champion for gender equality.

“'This award represents a true testament to the efforts of Sheikha Fatima who has ensured that national strategies empower women in the cultural, social, political and economic fields and that tradition and culture must not be a barrier to women and girls’ empowerment,” Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, said at the time.

Her work and advocacy, Ms Puri said, had resulted in women in the Emirates gaining better access to education and jobs.