ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Tuesday, March 8th 2016 [ME NewsWire]
Under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, “Mother of the Nation (Um al Emarat)” Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of Motherhood, Childhood Supreme Council, the “Emirati Woman Conference: Distinction and Innovation 2016” commenced today, at Emirates Palace Hotel. The official opening ceremony was attended by Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council (FNC) and Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
The conference is organized by the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the General Women's Union, and the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA), and aims to honor leading female citizens who have presented distinctive innovations.
In her address on the occasion, delivered on her behalf by HE Reem Abdullah Eisa Al Falasi, the secretary general of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak said: “Since the establishment of the Union, the UAE leadership has given top priority to encourage and empower women, by providing them with all available resources to achieve continued success. Thanks to the vision of the wise leader His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and his firm belief that investment in the human being is the key to building successful nations, the UAE women have achieved a flurry of distinctive quality accomplishments that and have outperformed women around the world.”
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak expressed her heartfelt thanks and appreciation for Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, for his unrelenting support for the march of women's progress and empowerment. She also lauded the Ministry of Interior (MoI)’s efforts in supporting this march.
HH Sheikha Fatima praised the efforts of entities in charge of organizing the conference, notably the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA). She expressed her hopes that the conference will achieve the sought-after objectives and shed the light on the process of innovation and successes achieved by Emirati women in various fields, as well as to highlight their leading role in supporting the development of the United Arab Emirates.
Adding further, HH Sheikha Fatima said: “Today, women in the UAE are key partners in leading the drive towards sustainable development and occupy the highest positions in the executive, legislative and judicial sovereignty authorities. The UAE has the highest percentage of women representation in the Cabinet in the Arab World. Moreover, thanks to their distinguished educational qualifications and leadership competencies, Emirati women have succeeded in gaining access to many important business sectors, and occupy the highest positions in the judicial authorities, public prosecution and forensic science, as well as other sectors that require specialized and skills, superior educational attainment and high training such as renewable energy, aerospace science, engineering, civil and military aviation, and air defense; in addition to their outstanding work across the various branches and units at the Ministry of Interior (MoI).”
HH Sheikha Fatima continued: “As we move forward towards the future, everyone is required, especially Emirati women, to seek further motivation, perseverance, dedication and loyalty in the service of this great country. This would help us achieve the aspirations set by our wise leadership, to reinforce the country’s efforts towards establishing a knowledge- based economy, promoting innovation and further boosting the UAE’s prominent position across all arenas, regionally and internationally.”
Adding further, Her Highness said: “Last year, we celebrated the first Emirati Women's Day celebration 2015 under the slogan “Emirati Military Women, Achievements and Gains”, during which we recognized Emirati women who have generously supported their sons in the Armed Forces as they defend their homeland, the Arab nation, and Islam in a noble sacred battle. In order for us to achieve the UAE leadership’s aspirations, I would like to announce from this honorable gathering, that 2016 will celebrate “Emirati Women: Distinction and Innovation”. This is an important milestone in the leading Emirati Women’s march towards success and would allow them to prove to their country and to the whole world that they are worthy of carrying the banner of creativity and excellence in all sectors and that they live up to the expectations of the leadership as they always have in all situations. Emirati women show creativity and innovation in their work, home, and in society; and are equally innovative in nurturing their children and behaving with others.”
HH Sheikha Fatima continued: “We will endeavor to champion this slogan throughout 2016, via concerted efforts of the different institutions and sectors at the countrywide level, in order to support our country’s march towards further progress, competitiveness, and leadership. To this end, I call upon my fellow Emirati sisters and daughters to remain, as they have always been, a symbol of creativity and excellence; to show a high sense of responsibility and patriotism; to show creativity and innovation and to support the journey of construction by being loyal to the country and society.”
In his speech during the conference’s inauguration ceremony, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior said: “It gives me great pleasure to join you today as we attend this conference, which is organized under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, “Mother of the Nation (Um al Emarat)” Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of Motherhood, Childhood Supreme Council. Her Highness has spared no effort to provide Emirati women with the appropriate opportunities to empower them to occupy the highest positions. She supported them as they endeavored to attain prominent positions and prestigious status thanks to their creative achievements in various fields of work, locally, regionally, and internationally.”
His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan added: “Emirati women have made numerous achievements at all levels under the wise leadership and support of HH late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The march of goodness was pursued with the same determination, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. Under his support, Emirati women have achieved important ministerial, legislative and leadership positions. Emirati women’s achievements were evident on all occasions, and they have made great strides towards achieving creativity and innovation, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.”
His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan continued: “The wise leadership has always stressed the importance of supporting and encouraging women. In this spirit, we should all abide by these directives in supporting the creativity and innovation process and spreading the culture of excellence, as the key requirement in the framework of development efforts. This approach is based on the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, which stresses the importance of knowledge transfer and the need to instill it in people’s minds, in order to promote creative ideas and produce innovative solutions that would serve the interest of the country and benefit mankind,” he added.
His Highness expressed his hope that this conference will mark a success, making it a global conference for women hosted by countries worldwide. “This conference will contribute to more innovative ideas and solutions facing women, guaranteeing themopportunities for full integration with men in various sectors,” he pointed out. He also thanked the attendees and the honored female thinkers and innovators, wishing guests a pleasant stay in their second homeland, the UAE.
For her part, Her Excellency Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC) congratulated every woman in the world on the occasion of the 2016 International Women's Day. Dr. Al Qubaisi expressed her heartfelt pride in Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, “Mother of the Nation (Um al Emarat)” Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of Motherhood, Childhood Supreme Council. “Her Highness reflects the model of Emirati female excellence, a woman of wise vision and distinguished initiatives and achievements. She is a role model to all of us to follow in her steps, and a main pillar for the great milestones that Emirati women have managed to achieve,” she indicated.
Additionally, Dr. Al Qubaisi saluted the mothers of the martyrs, as they have given their dearly loved children to defend the beloved nation and answer the call of national duty, to keep the UAE flag flying high. “The mothers of the martyrs are the finest and most authentic examples of what it means to be an Emirati mother. The martyrdom of their sons is like an adorned scarf that decorates these women with pride,” emphasized Dr. Al Qubaisi.
In her address on this occasion, Dr. Al Qubaisi identified the “empowerment equation” for women, men and society alike in all areas, which starts with respect, then trust, equal opportunities and skilled support, and which culminates with appreciation; this is the concept of empowerment. “Emirati women have ranked first in the international index of treating women with respect, and gained the trust of the leadership, the government and the people. The constitution and laws guaranteed to her equal opportunities in education and employment, thus opening all the doors in front of her. Moreover, Emirati wome were able to access the highest positions, participate alongside men in all stages of production and work and contribute to shaping the future of the UAE, thanks to the support and strong appreciation of the higher leadership, the government and all members of the community,” reiterated Dr. Al Qubaisi.
Concluding, Dr. Al Qubaisi expressed her heartfelt respect, thanks and appreciation for the man, be it a father, a husband, a son, or a brother, for always standing side-by-side with the Emirati woman, as her partner in all the achievements, along with our wise leadership.
Then, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, honored a number of students from the country’s universities and schools for their outstanding projects in the field of creativity and innovation. They also honored the participants and sponsors of the conference.
The conference was attended by HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance; HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs (FNCA); and Afra Al Basti, a member of the Federal National Council.
The conference was attended also by Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Police and General Security, and Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, in addition to a number of female leaders, senior officers from the Ministry of Interior (MoI), media representatives and people interested in women's outstanding achievements and innovations.
Her Excellency Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director of the General Women’s Union, said: “Women in the United Arab Emirates can take pride in the achievements and gains made by the wise leadership towards empowering women in all fields, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the diligent support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak - “Mother of the Nation (Um al Emarat)” Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of Motherhood, Childhood Supreme Council to women’s march towards achieving a global position, and empowering them to occupy leading positions on all levels.”
Adding further, Ms. Al Suwaidi said: “Emirati women have received unlimited encouragement, support and assistance from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the builder and founder of the United Arab Emirates. Following in his wise steps, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak has been actively endeavoring to the best of her ability to support women's cases, and safeguarding their rights, which help her fulfill her role as a good wife, housewife and mother; and empower her in educational, health, economic and political aspects to become a leader in all arenas. Women, childhood and family issues have been the top priority and main concern for Her Highness, who has managed over a short period of time, to make important achievements and a prestigious position for women, children and family on all levels.”
She continued: “Her Highness has endeavored to establish national mechanisms to help women carry out their mission competently. She also established the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood to care for women and children, who are the building blocks of family and society. Under Her Highness’s care and protection, the wise leadership’s dream of leading the UAE to become a country of world-level happiness and prosperity was achieved.”
Adding further, Ms Al Suwaidi said: “Emirati women have made myriad achievements to ensure equal opportunities with men, most notably the laws enacted to protect their constitutional rights, such as the right of work, social security, ownership, business and funds management, in addition to the right for education at all levels, the right to health and social care, and equal wages compared to men. Women also enjoy a number of privileges, such as the maternity and child care leaves that are protected by the civil service law.”
She also noted: “The General Women’s Union has declared unwavering support to the national innovation strategy that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to encourage innovation and lead the UAE to become a world-leader in innovation and a leading example of women leadership in all local, regional, and international arenas.”
Additionally, Al Suwaidi said: “In 2016, we are proud to highlight the innovations of Emirati women during the first specialized conference on innovation on the UAE level. The conference will also honor a number of leading Emirati women, by highlighting their innovations and creations and showcasing their experiences; all of which were made possible thanks to the unrelenting and continuous support granted to women by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and their highnesses Rulers of the Emirates, which have lead to the adoption of various initiatives, regulations, and decrees that support women’s rights.”
In his speech during the conference, Major General Dr. Abdul Quddous Abdul Razzaq Al Obaidly, Chairman of the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA) said: “The generous support of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, “Mother of the Nation (Um al Emarat)” Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of Motherhood, Childhood Supreme Council is clear evidence of Her Highness’s attention to support the role of women the UAE.”
Adding further, Major General Al Obaidly said: “The conference in an innovative platform for UAE citizens to highlight their role in the development process, as well as to promote national identity and innovation. It also contributes to shed the light on innovative national ideas presented by Emirati women.” He also noted that the conference will also reinforce women’s leading role in supporting the march of progress and development, and aligns with the UAE national strategy priorities, which call for encouraging innovation, research, and sustainable development, in addition to encouraging institutions to invest in Emirati human resources, creating a work environment conducive to innovation and creativity, and highlighting the importance of developing the skills of human resources in order to enhance work quality.
Major General Al Obaidly also noted that the UAE Vision 2021 is based on building a competitive economy driven by knowledgeable and innovative Emiratis. He also pointed out to the National Innovation Strategy that was launched in 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Major General Dr Al Obaidly explained that EIPA is the only authority in the UAE that represent the civil society and specialized in intellectual property. Six year since its inception in 2010, during which EIPA supported the intellectual property infrastructure by providing technical support including providing the competent authorities with knowledge; training staff members of various occupational levels; and providing legal support by contributing to drafting the appropriate intellectual property legislations and providing legal advice, EIPA has adopted a new vision, which aligns with its primary role of leading the UAE to become one of the best countries in the world by 2021 for protecting intellectual property.
The Conference Sessions
The “Emirati Woman: Distinction and Innovation” conference tackled three main topics during its sessions that were moderated by leading figures from the public and private sectors. A number of innovative women took part in the sessions with work papers that tackled the aspects, means, and recommendations regarding Emirati women innovation, and showcased their innovative experiences.
The first discussion session was moderated by Dr. Ashraf Hasan Abdelwahab, former Acting Minister of State for Administrative Development (MSAD) in Egypt, and Microsoft’s Corporate Affairs Director for GULF and North Africa. The keynote speakers included Samya Ali Al Ameri, Senior Strategy, Asset Management, and Excellence Manager at Tawazon; Sarah Muhammad Al Ahbabi, Strata’ Senior Procurement Manager; Dr. Habiba Al Safar, Biotechnology Center Manager at Khalifa University for Science, Technology, and Research; and Duaa’ Wasef, Manager of Organizational Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals.
The session was held under the slogan “The Role of the Emirati Institutions in Promoting the Innovations of the Emirati Women”. The session highlighted the innovations and creations of Emirati women and showcased their experiences in terms of innovation and creativity, which align with the National Innovation Strategy as a national priority for development, a key tool to achieve the UAE Vision 2021, and a comprehensive umbrella that reunites distinguished national competencies in the UAE.
The second discussion session was moderated by media figure, Manal Ahmad from Abu Dhabi TV, under the title “Showcasing the Innovations and Creations of Emirati Women.” Eng. Fatima Al Zaabi, World Ambassador for Peace, reviewed her experience in the field of innovation and creativity. She also showcased the numerous appreciation certificates as well as local and international awards, she obtained, notably the Microsoft International Award for developing a first-of-its-kind method of using Microsoft PowerPoint to create architectural designs for villas; in addition to other appreciation certificates that recognize her international achievements.
Dr. Fatima Muhammad Al Khumairi, Head of Forensic Medicine Department at the Ministry of Justice, presented her experience as the first Emirati doctor specialized in forensic medicine, and works as Head of Forensic Medicine Department and Laboratory at the Ministry of Justice. Architect Reem Al Marzouqi talked about her experience with innovation that earned her multiple patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for designing a car for people with special needs.
The third discussion session, titled “Environment Conducive to Innovation (Policies)”, was held in the presence of HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance; HE Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs (FNCA); and Afra Al Basti, a member of the Federal National Council and Executive Director of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children. The session was moderated by media figure Fadila Al Muaini from Dubai Media Inc; Al Bayan newspaper. The session discussed the wise directives of the country’s leadership towards achieving innovation, and its role in establishing motivational policies on innovation, which are used to launch elaborate plans to instill the culture of innovation. The session also tackled the means to guarantee the implementation of these plans, with the highest level of precision and professional dexterity; the role of leaderships in achieving this objective and in creating an environment conducive to innovation, the importance of motivation and participation, and the importance of innovation in sustainable development.
Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi noted that legislations that regulate all aspects of life in the UAE and the practical practices are all based on the values of justice, the respect of human rights, and tolerance. She noted that the Emirati constitution guaranteed the principles of tolerance, mercy and acceptance, which are part of the deep-rooted culture in the Emirati society. She added that the higher policies for innovation in the country are a key pillar to face the challenges that emanate from development.
For her part, HE Noura Al Kaabi talked about policies that motivate innovation. She explained that such policies adopted by the country in support of Emirati women, have become a key enabler to support women’s quest to achieve an appropriate status and become an honorable role model in the fields of creativity and innovation.
Afra Al Basti, member of the Federal National Council said that innovation is not as luxury, but as a prerequisite to enhance affection, harmony and dialogue in society. “This would contribute to prevent all forms of abuse against women and children, by providing protection, prevention, and partnership,” she said. Concluding, she noted that innovation and humanitarian work require innovative means to ensure social education.
Saif bin Zayed Reviews Women’s Innovations
Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, examined women’s innovations, during the exhibition taking place on the sidelines of the Emirati Woman Conference. He expressed admiration for the distinguished innovations displayed by female students from various universities and schools at the countrywide level.
999 Magazine: a Media Partner
Lt Colonel Awadh Al Kendi, Editor-in-Chief of 999 Magazine, revealed that the magazine’s participation as a media partner for the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA) during this conference is in response to the directives of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, to enhance and support the partnership between the Ministry of Interior and the public utility associations, support and empower the Emirati women in different fields of life, and honor a number of leading citizens who provided distinctive innovations that serve the society, the country, and humanity.
#TheEmiratiWomanDistindtionAndInnovation Hashtag on Social Media Platforms
The Emirati Woman Conference allocated a hashtag on the social media platforms under the title “#EmiratiWomanDistibnctionAndInnovation”. The hashtag was released to highlight the innovations of distinguished women, which which align with the national innovation strategy, and aim to transform the UAE into one of the most innovative countries in the world; so the hashtag should get the public’s interaction through social media channels.
Fadila Al Muaini: The Emirati Woman has Ways for Innovation
Fadila Abdullah Al Muaini, Local News section director, “Al Bayan” newspaper, Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) said, “The Emirati woman who is living in a country that was founded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (God rest his soul), whose blessed march is continued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has the right to be more optimistic than she should be. She has the right to exceed her ambitions, and reach the sky with her knowledge, work, preeminence and glitter, not by obligation and pay back, but because this country and land blessed by the wise leadership was created to be a creative country which embraces creativity and innovation, and even creates them.”
Furthermore, she added, “While the world has dedicated a day to celebrate women, talk about their efforts and recognize them, our leadership has dedicated all the days of the year to the Emirati girl. It has given each girl trust, attention and appreciation; paved the way for her; and stood by her to empower her and support her ambition- boasting of her among other nations.”
The conference on Emirati women included a distinctive artistic operetta, entitled “Kabira Yal Emarat” (Magnificent UAE). The operetta is written by poet Abdullah bin Shamma, composed by artist Fayez Al Saeed, directed by artist Dr. Habib Ghuloom, and performed by artist Samira Ahmad and the Ornina Band, with the participation of a number of well-known artists. The operetta was highly applauded by the audience.
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