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More than 50% of UAE manpower are women at Etihad Airways, including nearly 50 pilots

posted on 28/08/2016

Etihad Airways has marked Emirati Women's Day by announcing that more than half of the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including nearly 50 pilots.

Aisha Al Mansouri recalls being mesmerised by the aerial performances at the Al Ain Air Show in 2007. Yet today she is one of those pilots, flying the largest passenger jet in the world.

"I fell in love with aviation during the 2007 Al Ain Air Show and joined Etihad the following year as a cadet. After qualifying, I started as a Second Officer on the Airbus A320, and now I'm a First Officer on the A380. I hope to become a Captain so I can train other aviators," said Al Mansouri.

Eleven Emirati women are fully operational as pilots with the airline, while 38 others are navigating their way through cadet pilot training.

Etihad has been holding a series of events to mark the second year of Emirati Women's Day, a government-led initiative now held annually on 28 August to recognise the role of Emirati women in the development of the UAE. This year's theme is Emirati Women and Innovation.

Mona Walid, Vice President, Human Resources for Etihad Airways and Etihad Airways Engineering, noted, "Since Etihad's launch in 2003, the company has focused on attracting and developing both male and female Emirati talent. As we nurture the leaders of the future, we are committed to elevating Emirati women to the forefront of aviation to play their part in the growth of the economy."

Of the more than 3,200 Emiratis employed by the airline, 1,661 are women – or 51 percent. This includes the 137 members of the award winning, all-female Al Ain Contact Centre, reflecting the appeal of Etihad as an employer of Emirati women.

On Sunday and Monday – 28 and 29 August – Etihad is holding networking events where Emirati female employees can discuss their careers with the airline's most successful female staff. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Report: Women’s journey in the UAE - a long track record of achievements

posted on 28/08/2016

Today the UAE celebrates an anniversary that is dear to the hearts of Emirati citizens: the second Emirati Women's Day.

This special day was launched on the 28th of August, 2015, by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women's Union, President of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in recognition of the importance of women and their pivotal role in the community, as part of the long journey made by the state for their empowerment.

This year's observance comes as Emirati women continue to celebrate their achievements as their ambitions reach the highest peaks, exemplified by the appointment of eight women to hold important ministerial positions in the current cabinet of the Federal Government, as well as the unprecedented historical achievement at both local and regional levels when Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi was elected Speaker of the Federal National Council by the 16th Legislative Chapter, at which point women constituted 27.5% of the total members.

According to a report issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the occasion of International Women's Day, a woman is serving as the UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, seven women are currently employed as Ambassadors and Consuls-General to Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Kosovo, Hong Kong and the Republic of Montenegro, as well as there being 157 female diplomats working in the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, some 42 women are now working in the State's diplomatic missions abroad, as well as those working in Air Defence, Civil and Military Aviation, tribunals and public prosecution departments, along with those in various departments of UAE Ministries.

According to a report issued by the World Economic Forum in 2014, the UAE ranked first in the world index for treating women with respect.

Today, Emirati women occupy 66% of general government jobs, of which 30% are in senior leadership positions with decision-making powers, and 15% in specialised academic jobs. Women's contributions to economic activity and the labour market has risen steadily since the founding of the Women's Business Council, bringing the number of enrolees in the Chambers of Commerce and Industry to some 22,000 businesswomen working in local and global markets who are in charge of investments exceeding AED 45 billion, in addition to the number of women working in the banking sector, one of the most important economic sectors in the country, where the percentage of female employees has reached 37.5%.

With the UAE's celebration of the second Emirati Women's Day, Emirati citizens recall the women and daughters of the great movement started by the late founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which continues to lay the foundations for good governance, growth and development.

On this day, we witness the strength of loyalty and devotion to the leader who gained his people's hearts and earned a prominent position among world leaders as a result of his benevolent stances that embodied truth, justice, humility and acceptance of others.

Since the early days of the Union, women have confidently and steadily sustained their progress during the development and building of the country, initiated by a leader who believed in his people's capability to grow and build, and who became historically respected as a great leader who accomplished so many achievements in all fields, be they educational, economic, social or developmental, through a reformist approach. This has led to the provision of expertise in order to continue on the path of building a modern Emirates and broadening participation in decision-making.

The perseverance of the late founder was instrumental in the journey of Emirati women, and had a crucial role in addressing their progress within his pioneering and ambitious project to develop the country and the people when he took the reins of power in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1966, and after his success in establishing the UAE Federation 45 years ago.

H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak was, and continues to be, a supporter of Emirati women, and has contributed to directing and improving their position in the local community and in the world.

As an integral part of the people of the UAE, women have reaped the best of the benefits of the renaissance, and accomplished great achievements, which turned women into a catalyst in the process of growth and development. Their achievements have been celebrated internationally as honoured examples and role models in the Arab and Muslim world, as well as in the international arena.

The late Sheikh Zayed took initiatives aimed at the advancement of Emirati women and making them key partners in development programs. In a speech he made on the 1st of December, 2003, on the occasion of the 32nd National Day, his pride in the achievements of women in the UAE was highlighted when he said, "We are entitled to recall with much pride the great achievements of women in our country and promote their social and economic roles in the public and private sectors."

During his rule, Emirati women made great leaps in their journey of development and empowerment in all community affairs, compared to the situation of women in other regional and international communities, as they assumed numerous positions in societal, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the UAE.

Emirati women would not have achieved this status without the awareness and conviction of the wise leadership during the reign of Sheikh Zayed and then later, of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, focusing on the importance of the role of women in society as partners, not followers, of men on the journey of progress and development. This was translated into a firmly held belief in the role of women in practical policies and in their abilities to achieve benefits and accomplishments, in addition to the keenness of women in achieving their ambitions and overcoming the challenges that they face in order to attain their full rights.

Since the establishment of the UAE federation, the late Sheikh Zayed sought to support women and strengthen their vital roles in nation-building and in achieving the active, positive participation of women in sustainable development.

And so Sheikh Zayed was ahead of his time in supporting women. The support stemmed from his intellectual conviction that the community of the State of the Union cannot flourish by viewing the future from a closed perspective.

Regarding the role of women, he said, "I am sure that women in our rising country are aware of the importance of preserving authentic traditions derived from the teachings of Islam based on family development, where the family is the basis of progress for the whole society."

Emirati women gained unprecedented educational rights in the era of the late founder, entering university education where they have participated in all aspects of further education, including engineering, medicine, management, employment and education. Today, the percentage of educated Emirati women is the highest in the Arab world.

The political empowerment programme for women adopted by the nation's founder is one of the most important features of the Emirati women's journey, through which Sheikh Zayed supported the rights of women to assume the highest working and decision making positions, and their participation in political action. He said, "I am an advocate of women and I always emphasise her right to work and fully participate in building her country."

The Women's Union supported the journey of Emirati women, with direct guidance from Sheikh Zayed, as women stepped into the 21st century, joining men in all areas of development. He fervently prompted Emirati women to continue their journey in stimulating their roles in all aspects of life, saying that there is no difference between men and women except in their efforts. He noted, "There is nothing wrong with the enrolment of Emirati women in the Federal National Council."

The call for the involvement of women in political decision making had been long discussed, and in 2004, this became a reality when Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi was appointed as the first female minister in the Federal Government, taking up her position in November 2004. She was later appointed Minister of Planning, and so the participation of women in political decision-making continued.

Emirati women have achieved this inclusion in developing the State as a direct result of Sheikh Zayed's beliefs. And under his guidance, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation, urged women to enter various fields of work, such as the armed forces, aviation, media, and more. Women participated in the UAE's National Day military parade for the first time in 1990, where there was a dedicated platform for women. H.H. Sheikha Fatima was at the forefront of the attendees, along with a number of Sheikhas and mothers of officers who had participated in the Gulf War.

Under the auspices of Sheikh Zayed, appointments in the police department included women as they were acknowledged as making up half of society. The police have been training women who wanted to work in this field since 1977 and a women's police school was established in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in March 1978. This event was of great importance in recognising that women cooperate with men at all levels, and was a civilized achievement that contributed to the building of the modern Emirates.

Women police units have made remarkable progress since their founding in 1978, and have succeeded in attracting the country's women to work in the police field.

In 1990, the Khawla bint Al-Azwar Military School for women was founded and continues to graduate women to this day.

Since the establishment of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan diligently worked to support Emirati women. He ordered the establishment of the "Renaissance of Abu Dhabi Women Association" in 1973, and then the "General Women's Union" in 1975, which is considered the torch that lit women's journey, and is still the platform that women ascend to have their voices heard by everyone. The late Sheikh Zayed assigned this task to the Mother of the Nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima, who was inspired by the thoughts of "Zayed Al Khair" or Zayed the Generous, and led the march of Emirati women along the paths of excellence, pride and progress.

At the end of July 2003, Sheikh Zayed issued a Federal Decree establishing the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, which aims to improve the standards of care of the affairs of motherhood and childhood, and reports directly to the Head of State.

The establishment of this council, an initiative of Sheikha Fatima, was driven by the importance of upholding the role of mothers in preparing generations, doubling the efforts of childhood care and protection of the rights of successive generations of children, in addition to the establishment of moral values that represent mothers and their roles in the community.

In greater numbers than ever, Emirati women are becoming engaged in work that confirms their presence, yet preserves their dignity. The late Sheikh Zayed emphasised on many occasions that, "All areas of work are open to women in the UAE, as they are for men."

He noted that, "Women have made great leaps on the path of participation in the field of national work, and the General Women's Union, under the auspices of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, seeks to galvanize the role of women in society and to increase their contribution to development, in addition to providing them with the best representation in Arab and international forums." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE women: A Journey of Empowerment

posted on 28/08/2016

ABU DHABI, 27th August 2016 (WAM) - The empowerment of women has been one of the notable success stories of the UAE. The UAE firmly believes that progress on issues relating to women's rights is essential for building a tolerant and modern society.

Since the very foundation of the United Arab Emirates on December 2, 1971, women have been recognized as equal partners in national development by the UAE's leaders, and the Government continues to pursue a strategy of empowering women in all fields. The UAE's society has comfortably accepted this approach, in a way that has made women real partners and drivers in the country's ongoing development process.

Government Support: Throughout the UAE's history, the leadership of the country has invested heavily in women. The founding father of the UAE, the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, made the cause of women's empowerment a top priority of the UAE Government. In this respect, every possible effort, was, and continues to be made, to support the talents of Emirati women and to develop social conditions, which encourage women to fully participate in public life.

Sheikh Zayed once said: "The woman is half of the society, any country which pursues development should not leave her in poverty or illiteracy. I am on the woman's side; I always say this in order to uphold her right to work and participate in the building process of her country".

The UAE Government has successfully delivered on this objective by offering women education, employment, and training opportunities, and by introducing forward-thinking and progressive laws and legislation that have paved the way for women's empowerment.

The Constitution of the UAE guarantees equal rights for both men and women. Under the Constitution, women enjoy the same legal status, claim to titles, access to education, the right to practice professions, and the right to inherit property. Women are also guaranteed the same access to employment, health and family welfare facilities.

Furthermore, the UAE has enacted a range of legislation and laws that provide legal protection for women, and punish anyone who might compromise their dignity or personal safety. In this context, The UAE has signed all international treaties on protecting the rights of women. Among these are the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW, (2004), the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention (1982), and the Equal Remuneration Convention (1996).

Since His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan came to power in 2004, the issue of women's empowerment has gained only further momentum. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa has led national efforts aiming to create permanent and positive changes in women' lives. He has done so by offering more education and training opportunities that would enhance the role and contribution of women in the public sphere.

Furthermore, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has also been at the forefront of encouraging women's empowerment in the UAE. For instance, during the Government Summit in Dubai in 2015, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed announced the formation of the "Emirates Council for Gender Balance" which aims to bridge the gender gap and boost the UAE's efforts to evolve and enhance women's role as key partners in building the future of the nation.

While in March 2015, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, launched the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women in the UAE 2015-2021, which provided a guiding framework and reference for all federal and local governmental institutions and civil society organizations in developing plans and work programs to empower women in all areas.

UAE Women in progress The UAE is a recognized leader in terms of gender equality in the region. This achievement comes from the fundamental belief that women and men are equal partners in society. Through a series of public and private sector initiatives, women are playing an increasingly stronger role in all facets of Emirati society.

Women graduates in the UAE excel in government, engineering, science, health care, media, computer technology, law, commerce and the oil industry, amongst other fields. Eight women serve in the UAE Cabinet including Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, and a 22-year-old Shamma Al Mazrui, who serves as Minister of State for Youth Affairs. Nine women hold seats within the Federal National Council (FNC), a consultative parliamentary body, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the FNC's membership. In November 2015, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi became President of the FNC, making her the first woman in the region to lead a national assembly. She previously had made history in 2006 as the first elected female to the FNC and in 2011 was appointed deputy speaker of the FNC.

Women make up 20 percent of the diplomatic corps, and there are also several women Ambassadors. Currently, the UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Lana Nusseibeh), the Ambassador to Spain (Hessa Al Otaiba), the Ambassador to Montenegro (Hafsa Abdullah Mohammed Sharif Al Ulama), and the Consul General to Italy in Milan (Noura Mohammed Juma) are all women.

Today, Emirati women constitute 66 percent of the national UAE labour market in fields as diverse as engineering, science, healthcare, media, computer technology, law, civil and military aviation, commerce, university lecturers, government and the oil industry. Around a third of Emirati women hold senior-level positions, and 15 percent of women work in highly skilled technical fields.

Emirati women have also made great strides in the world of business and investment. The UAE Businesswomen Council, a nationwide network of business, professional, and academic women, was set up in 2002. Emirati businesswomen are running investments worth more than AED 12 billion (USD 3.26 billion) in various fields, including trade, industry, finance, real estate, tourism, fairs and exhibitions, construction and services. While in the banking sector alone, 38 percent of employees are Emirati women.

In conclusion, Emirati women, who account for 49.3 percent of the national population, are today at the cutting edge and forefront of UAE economic, political, and social life. Aided by the government's unwavering commitment to empowering women and providing equal opportunities, the status of women within the UAE has flourished in parallel with the country's growth since the federation was established in 1971. It is evident, that this process will only continue apace, and women will remain an ever important cornerstone for not only the UAE's present, but also its future. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


We empower community through women, says Mohammed bin Rashid

posted on 28/08/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has paid a rich tribute to Emirati women, describing them as partners in development, generation makers, mothers of martyrs, and the pride of the nation.

As the UAE observes Emirati Women's Day on Sunday, 28th August, he added, "We do not only empower women, but we empower the whole community through women."

On his official social network 'Twitter' account, Sheikh Mohammed noted that the Emirati women constitute two thirds of government employees and university graduates, and one third of the cabinet.

He concluded by describing the Emirati women as the most beautiful, the best and the strongest, and said, "Our state will remain stronger, thanks to your diligence and perseverance. May almighty Allah safeguard the Mother of the Nation for us and you." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirati woman blazing a trail of glory to serve the nation: Sheikha Fatima

posted on 28/08/2016

The Emirati woman has made remarkable achievements in various walks of life and has become, along with man, a true contributor to the development and progress of the nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, affirmed.

'The resounding success achieved by the Emirati woman was not a result of any chance, but was rather a result of many factors including the enthusiastic encouragement by the UAE leadership and the close follow up of the leaps she took towards success.

The woman was given the opportunity to prove her merit, usher into the future and use her potentials and energies to serve the wellbeing of family and nation,' H.H. Sheikha Fatima said in a message on the eve of the second Emirati Women's Day.

'The UAE leadership - since the time of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, up till the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates - has spared no effort to create an encouraging and supportive environment and secure all facilities for the Emirati woman so that she can assume her important role, along with man as two partners, in ensuring the development and glory of the nation,' H.H. said.

She emphasised that the Emirati women have shown their merit in performing missions assigned to them in different positions in the light of the leadership's interest in empowering the women in various fields.

'The achievements made by the Emirati woman since the Union was founded four decades ago were a culmination of the sound approach adopted by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, which was advanced by the far-sighted vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who played a central role in encouraging women to participate in all sectors and join the men in the building of the state as part of the national ambitious and pioneering programme for building the nation and its people.

The leading role of the woman was crowned by the announcement during the 2015 Government Summit of the establishment of the UAE Gender Balance Council, a federal entity chaired by the President of Dubai Women Establishment, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to enhance the role of women in all fields. Balance between women and men has become a prerequisite for success and prosperity of the civilised communities. Gender balance in rights and duties is one of the main ways to realise happiness, security, stability, welfare and progress of nations. Therefore, the UAE was at the forefront in this respect, giving the woman equal rights as those of man in various walks of life. By doing so, the UAE has reached advanced levels in the area of supporting and encouraging women to achieve an astounding success which will be translated into further progress of the community.

The state's interest in the welfare of women and guaranteeing their rights made the Emirati women outperform their peers in many countries of the world, thus making the UAE a role model for the region and the world in the empowerment of women, which will add a new dimension to the UAE's vision for women in the future. The formation of the Gender Balance Council will grant the women more rights and open the door for them to play a greater role, along with their male partners, in serving the community. With the formation of this council, women will be eligible to hold 50 percent of the seats in the Federal National Council, now chaired for the first time in its history by a woman, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi. In the past, women constituted only 15 percent of the 40-strong house. The move will qualify women to hold 50 percent of the ministerial portfolios in the future. All these were unprecedented gains for the Emirati women.

This year's celebrations will be held under the theme 'Woman and Innovation,' so as to pave the way for the Emirati woman to innovate and unleash her potential energies in order to prove to the world that the UAE's experiment in the empowerment of woman has made significant progress, making the Emirati woman a creative and excellent force as well as a role model for many countries in the region and the world. The Emirati women have been and still are a partner with men in the process of development since the Union was founded on 2nd December, 1971.

The reactions of tens of thousands of establishments and individuals on the Day were amazing and unprecedented and this confirmed their conviction in the ability of the Emirati woman to do many good things for the welfare of her family and nation.

More than 100,000 visitors and 40 government entities had an interaction on the theme of the day through the e-platform launched by the General Women's Union on this occasion. This is a huge number which gives confidence and assurance that the UAE's men and women have economic and human potentials and are enlightened minds capable of realising what is possible or even impossible. In the presence of these minds and national professionals, our state is in a good position and our leadership is well, happy and confident of the future of the promising generations.

The Emirati women have become key partners in the drive towards sustainable development and are now holding senior posts in the sovereign, executive and legislative authorities. The UAE today boasts of having the highest representation of women in the ministerial portfolios in the Arab World. Emirati women, who have high academic qualifications and leadership skills, are also taking up jobs in many important sectors.

The theme of this year's celebration, 'Woman and Innovation,' was chosen to reflect the critical juncture in the quest of the Emirati woman who has proved to her nation and the world at large that she is well qualified and worthy of carrying the banner of innovation and excellence and she is up to the expectations of her leadership as a creative mother in her work, education, household and community. She is also creative in raising her children and in dealing with others.

I salute the Emirati woman with reverence for the progress she made in serving herself, her family and her nation. I urge her to take up the challenge and seize the opportunities provided to her by the leadership to advance her cause and unlock her innovative energies, based on the principles of the tolerant religion and the rich legacy and traditions of her fathers and forefathers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE women proud of leadership: Lubna Al Qasimi

posted on 28/08/2016

The UAE women are proud of , and grateful to the wise leadership of the UAE for the unlimited support that led to their advancement, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance has said.

In a statement to mark the Emirati Women's Day, Sheikha Lubna paid tribute to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces for the confidence and support given to women of the UAE.

She also congratulated H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and praised her role in the achievements made by the UAE women. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirati women’s labour participation rate grows by 30% in three decades: SCAD

posted on 28/08/2016

Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) issued the second edition of a book entitled "Emirati Women, Past and Present," marking the Emirati Women's Day, which falls on 28th August.

On this occasion, Rashed Lahej Al Mansouri, Chairman of SCAD's Board, remarked: "The underlying influence behind the success of the process of comprehensive development over the course of the past five decades was the recognition of the significance of Emirati nationals as the means and the ultimate target of that process. The wise leadership understood from the very start that human intellectual capital was crucial to the nations' productivity and competitiveness in their pursuit of economic development and prosperity."

"It was under these favourable conditions and through hard work and perseverance that women managed to realize remarkable achievements at the national, regional and international levels, acquiring advanced education and reaching top-level positions," added Al Mansouri.

Butti Ahmed Mohammed bin Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of SCAD, congratulated H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, who first launched the initiative to observe this occasion and continues to patronize it.

Al Qubaisi pointed out that the book tracks in detail the achievements of women in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in various fields during the past five decades, adopting a scientific approach based on facts and figures to depict the progress made during this period.

This publication consists of three main chapters. Chapter I narrates the progress achieved by Emirati women in education. Chapter II highlights the participation of Emirati women in the labour force, while Chapter III deals with the population, focusing on the demographics of Emirati women through such characteristics as annual growth, age structure, geographical distribution, marital status, median age at first marriage and marriage.

The book analyses statistics related to education in terms the number of citizen students by gender in government and private schools. In the academic year 2014/15, there were a total of 152,720 students, of whom 49.7 percent were females. A distribution of female enrolment by sector shows that a larger proportion of them (52.8 percent) attended government schools, compared with 44.0 percent enrolled in private schools. During the same academic year (2014/15), females accounted for 89.5 percent of the 4,283 citizen teachers.

As a result of the government's tireless efforts in the field of education, the literacy rate among Emirati females (aged 10 years and over) rose steadily, reaching 92.7 percent by 2015. On the other hand, illiteracy among Emirati females dropped from 89.8 percent in 1970 to only 7.3 percent in 2015.

In higher education, enrolment of female citizens increased from 16,619 students in 2008 to 22,819 students in 2014, which marks an annual growth rate of 5.5 percent during the aforesaid period. As in general education, females have been consistently outnumbering male students since 2008, with the female to male ratio reaching 157:100 by 2014.

As "Emirati Women, Past and Present" observes, women's participation in the citizen labour force rose significantly between 1975 and 2015 from 2.2 percent to 32.8 percent. The majority (46.9 percent) of employed female citizens were professionals, followed by legislators and senior managers (12.6 percent). A distribution by economic activity shows that the largest percentage of employed citizen females was in public administration, defence and social security (36.9 percent). The government sector accounted for 73.3 percent of the employed female citizens in 2015.

As the book finds, the percentage of female employees in various economic activities saw mixed trends between 2005 and 2015. In the mining and quarrying activity (which includes oil), the proportion of females reached 6.9 percent in 2015, compared with 3.6 percent in 2005. A growth was also recorded in the financial intermediation and insurance activity, where females made up 8.0 percent of the workforce in 2015, up from 5.0 percent.

Sectoral distribution of employed female citizens reveals that a majority of them (86.5 percent in 2005 and 73.3 percent in 2015) work for the government sector. The corresponding figure for the private sector was 6.2 and 7.7 percent, respectively. There is an upward trend in the labour force participation of female citizens in both the private and semi-government sectors. According to SCAD, the largest proportion (43 percent of employed Emirati females) held a basic university degree, compared with 23.7 percent males.

The number of female citizens in Abu Dhabi Emirate increased 54-fold from 4,853 in 1960 to 260,791 by mid-2015, constituting 48.6 percent of total citizen population. The emirate has a young population of female citizens, of whom 38.4 percent are under 15 years of age, while 59.4 percent fall in the working age bracket (15-64 years). Average life expectancy at birth for female citizens reached 79.8 years in 2015, reflecting the unprecedented development in the areas of health care and social services.

The crude marriage rate for Emirati citizens was 13 marriages per 1,000 female population in 2015. The general marriage rate (for females aged 15 years and above) was 21.2 marriages per 1,000 female population.

In 2015, the general fertility rate was 118.1 births per 1,000 women aged (15-49 years). The median age at first marriage for Emirati women was 23.8 years. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Parents should encourage their children to look forward to going back to school tomorrow: ADEC

posted on 28/08/2016

With the return of the 2016-17 academic school year, parents are encouraged to motivate their children to look forward to going back to school tomorrow, with particular emphasis on the first day of school.

The ADEC's last census indicated that there are about 375,000 students returning to public and private schools (130,147 and around 245,000, respectively) across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on Sunday, August 28th, 2016. This number does not include an extra 4,700 students studying in Adult Education Centres and 3,300 students studying in home schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Approximately 34,000 educators have already organised themselves in preparation for the highly interactive new academic school year, a week prior to the schools starting.

Teachers and Heads of Faculty have received a specialised curriculum training that will help deliver strategies in effective pedagogy, assessment techniques and student centred lesson planning as per 21st century teaching and learning skills, while various professional development workshops have helped guide subject teachers to focus on equipping students with teaching/learnings as well as soft skills and behaviours required for Abu Dhabi's evolving economy, regardless of a student's chosen major.

Additionally, students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 public schools have already received their textbooks, while curriculum content can also be accessed online.

Entering a new environment filled with unfamiliar people can cause anxiety to children, which is why parents play a crucial role in reassuring their child that a school offers "fun-loving, interactive, innovative and educational experiences." Healthy lunch boxes, sleeping early and positive reinforcement are some of things parents should focus on the first day, and the following days and weeks upon returning from a long summer break. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ministry of Health slashes prices of 762 medicines as of September

posted on 28/08/2016

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention announced on Saturday the launch of the seventh initiative to bring down the prices of medicines by up to 63 percent by early September.

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention for Public Health Policy and Licensing Sector, and Vice Chairman of Drugs Pricing and Registration Committee, told the media that the initiative, which was launched in partnership with 39 innovative pharmaceuticals companies operating in the country, included 762 medicines. Of these, prices of 657 products would go down by early September while the reduced prices of 105 products will take effect by as early as January 2017.

'Slash in prices of medicines included in the seventh initiative will range between 2 to 63 percent. Since the first initiative was launch in July 2011, prices of 8,725 pharmaceutical products have been cut,' he explained.

He said that a study conducted by the ministry showed that the market value of reducing 657 medicines reached AED 267 million and this money will go to support poor patients, namely those suffering from chronic diseases.

A breakdown showed that products classes and counts included medicines for cardiovascular diseases (135), central nervous (115), infections (84), respiratory (72), endocrine (59), obstetrics, gynaecology and urinary-tract disorders (35), skin (35), and gastrointestinal (32). – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE seeks stronger ties with Latin American publishers

posted on 28/08/2016

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Honorary President of Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) and Member of the International Publishers Association (IPA)'s Executive Committee, gave a keynote presentation about the publishing industry and the crucial role it plays in enhancing relationships and strengthening ties between Latin America and the Arab world, at the 24th session of Sao Paulo International Book Fair, which started on 26th August and will conclude on 4th September.

Sheikha Bodour witnessed the official opening of the book fair and was accompanied by Khalid Khalifa Al Mualla, UAE Ambassador to Brazil. Sheikha Bodour praised the long history of rapprochement of cultures between Brazil and Latin America on the one hand, and the Arab world on the other, which dates back to the middle of the 19th century. She noted that Latin American literature is a very important cultural product to the Arab world, with many Latin American writers, novelists and poets attracting considerable attention or Arab readers, intellectuals and publishers, who translated Latin American literary works and published them in various Arab countries.

In her key presentation, Sheikha Bodour highlighted the pioneering achievements of the Emirati publishing industry over the past few years, which made the UAE a perfect platform for publishers from around the world. It also appreciated the accomplishments that the EPA has achieved since its inception in 2008, leading the UAE to consolidate its position in the publishing industry and become an attractive destination to publishers and workers in this vital sector.

"The UAE is a strategic hub for companies seeking access to emerging publishing markets in the Arab World as well as Africa and Asia. International publishers are attracted by the UAE's business friendly benefits, including its proximity to emerging publishing markets, hosting large international book fairs and providing translation grants and trading rights to international publishers," Sheikha Bodour said.

Sheikha Bodour also highlighted the growing publishing trade relationship between Latin America and the Arab world, manifested by the most recent statistics by United Nations that shows it is approximately worth $1 million annually. The export of books to Latin America from the Arab world represents 94 percent of the annual publishing trade. The UAE make up 83 percent of the exports, which is worth $861,650.

"According to these figures, it is clear that there is considerable possibility to increase the volume of imports of books from Latin America to the Arab world, and in return increase the exports of books from the Arab world to Latin America," she added.

On the sidelines of the event, Sheikha Bodour expressed her hope that Arab and Latin American publishers will continue to work jointly in the best interests of the publishing industry and publishers worldwide. She invited publishers and those interested in the publishing industry in Brazil and Latin America to visit book fairs in the UAE so that they can get a close insight about the developments of the publishing industry in the UAE and the Arab world.

"Having Sheikha Bodour and the Sharjah delegation in Sao Paulo was a great chance for the Brazilian Publishers to get to know a little bit better the Arab Book Market and the opportunities that EPA and the Sharjah Book Authority have for international publishers," Luiz Alvaro Salles Aguiar de Menezes, International Affairs Manager at the Chamber of Brazilian Books, said.

"Brazil has received Arab immigration since 1880 and that had a deep impact on our culture. It is only natural that our book markets can get closer to each other and increase the exchange between Brazil and the UAE, specifically with Sharjah which is known to be the cultural capital," Luiz added.

Salim Omar Salim, Director of Marketing and Sales at Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), gave a presentation about the authority and its efforts, projects and initiatives, particularly the Sharjah International Book Fair, the Sharjah Children Reading Festival, the ALA Library Conference and the Translation Grant.

The Sao Paulo International Book Fair, is one of the most important book fairs and the largest in South America. It is a platform for books published in Spanish and Portuguese in particular, as well as books published in other languages. It is also a platform for writers, intellectuals and thinkers in the continent that attracted millions of readers worldwide with its literature. Every year, the fair features many events that promote communication between Brazil and the rest of the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -