Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Women in the United Arab Emirates

Our Example

Our Partner in Tropical Line Investment (in Dubai) and in GULF – Consulting & Investment (in Portugal) is the Chairwoman of the EMIRATES BUSINESS WOMEN COUNCIL – H.H. Sheikha Dr. Hind Al Qasimi (from Sharjah). She is, certainly, one of the most influent women in the Emirates and one of the most success women in Arab countries. Her intelligence and dedication are a big example for all women in the world.

Meet H.H. Sheikha Dr. Hind Al Qasimi

Name: H.H. Sheikha Dr. Hind Al Qasimi
Chairwoman of Emirates Business Women Council
Chairwoman of Tropical Line, LLC (Dubai)
Member of the Board of GULF - Consulting & Investment, Lda. (Portugal)
Educational expert in the Technical office of His Excellency Minister of Education.
Class Education:
1976-1980: License of arts (sociology) Kuwait University.
1988-1992: Ma. Of Sociology- Ain Shams University/ Egypt.
1992-1996: PhD- Ain, Shams University/ Egypt.
Personal Recognition:
1980-1981: Sociologist
1981-1982: Deputy School Headmistress
1982-1984: School Headmistress
1986-1988: Head Of Coordination in library Administration Ministry of Education.
Achievement :
AbuDhabi Women Union Associating Member (setting up a special report concerning) Women and Education in the UAE.
Board member of consultation council- sociology Department/ Sharjah University.
2000-2005: Member of executive committee of Sharjah business women council.
2000-2003: Educational expert- planning and developing office/ Ministry of Education.
2003- present: Educational expert in the technical office of H.E. Ministry of Education.
Professional Participation :
2006: Member of consultative committee of emirates writer union.
2006: Board of director member of UAE business women.
2005: Participation certificate in Int. Women Day/ Higher College of Technology- Dubai and Emirates University.
2004: UAE Women Sport Committee Member.
2003: Member of scientific and technical committee of the 2nd educational activities conference titled "Arts and its impact on the educational process".
21.3.2003: Member of national committee of environmental strategy and lasting development.
1.7.2002: Member of continuous committee of conferences.
April 2002: Member of national committee of continuous development.
March 2002: Team work member of the suggested Regional centre for educational planning.
Feb.2001: Member of referees of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for distinguished Academic performance.
9.2.2002: Committee member of estimating institution strategic performance.
27.6-3.10.2001: Member of High Committee for Educational Researches.
2001: Committee member of central administrations for plans coordination and following up.
15.10-3.11.2001: UAE delegation member to UNISCO general conference/ session31.
31.3-25.6.2001: Participation in the executive and supervisory leadership training projects.
9.2.2002: Technical committee member of statistic data base developing project in association with UNISCO.
16.5.2001: Scientific committee member of education technical development conference.
31.3.2001: Chairwoman of special committee for women progress national strategy project.
22.11.2000: Participation in national report production of UAE education development.
1998-1999: A Survey Study production titled "School Buses extent benefit for students".
9.3.2005: Chairwoman of Gulf Women Social Session in the occasion of women Day/ UAE University.
6.2.2005: Participation in educational out put seminar at the 2nd educational symposium/ RAK.
3-5.10.2004: A training program about educational project planning.
29-31.5.2004: Participation in the course of " woman and sport in the UAE"
21-23.4.2004: Participation in the 3rd Afro-Arab Businesswomen Conference.
24-26.1.2004: Participation in institutions performance assessment session /Administration development institute.
29.4.2003: Seminar of "The role of family in society improvement / Sharjah University.
22.4.2003: Member of board of referees of post graduated researches sharjah University.
12-16.4.2003: Producing of women leadership courses/ Administrative development institute / Ministry of Labour.
7-16.10.2002: Strategic Management Course/ Administrative development institute.
20-21.4.2002: Strategic performance Assessment Course.
31.3-1.4.2002: Participation in future experts conference.
13-15.3.2001: The 1st national conference of talented students.
26.9.2000: Arab 1st annual conference of leadership / Dubai-Arabic Organization for administrative development.
1986: A course of administrative development.
1985: A secretary of sharjah Ladies club.
21.3.2001: Conference of "Administration in the concept of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Published books:
1993/1994: " The effects of education and work on women in decision taking".
1996/1997: " Constancy and variability of UAE Women Education.

U.A.E. & Women

The role of women in the United Arab Emirates has advanced greatly in recent years, making the UAE a leader in women's rights in the Arab world. Though there were few opportunities for women outside the home before 1960, the discovery of oil led to advancement in women's position. The UAE constitution guarantees equality between men and women in areas including legal status, claiming of titles, and access to education. The General Women's Union (GWU), established by HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak wife of then President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, remains a strong component of the State's and participating organizations' various initiatives. In the 2007/2008 United Nations Development Programme report, the UAE ranked 29th among 177 countries in the Gender Empowerment Measures, the best rating received in the Arab World. UNDP’s Millennium Development Goal No. 3, to “Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women” has reached its targeted levels of female participation in primary education and continues to increase.


The role of women in UAE society has gradually expanded since the discovery of oil. Before 1960 there were few opportunities for them outside the realm of home and family. The late president, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, acknowledged the validity of women participating in the work force as well as in the home. Zayed's wife, Sheikha Fatima, heads the Women's Federation and promotes training, education, and the advancement of the status of women. In the early 1990s, there were five women's societies promoting various issues of importance to women, including literacy and health.
Women constituted 6.2 percent of the
work force in 1988. A study by the Administrative Development Institute found that a majority of female workers who are UAE citizens work under the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. In 1988 they accounted for 82 percent of UAE national employees in these ministries. As of the late 1980s and early 1990s, women graduates outnumbered men by a ratio of two to one at United Arab Emirates University.


The 2007 report on the progress of MDGs in the UAE states, “the proportion of females in higher education has risen remarkably at a rate that has not been achieved in any other country in the world. During the years 1990 to 2004 the number of female university students has grown to double that of male students. This is the result of the promotion and encouragement of women’s education by state and family.” The ratio of literate females within the 15- to 24- year age group rose from 100.5% in 1990 to 110% in 2004, reaching 90% literacy overall in 2007. Upon completion of high school, 77% of Emirati women continue on to higher education and comprise 75% of the student population at the Al Ain national university. According to Dubai Women’s College, 50-60% of its 2,300 students proceed to seek employment upon graduation.


Comprising 49.3% of the national population, women account for 1-2% of the UAE’s high executive positions, 20% hold administration positions, 35% are in the national workforce, and 80% are classified as household workers. Female graduates in the UAE are employed within historically male-dominated professions of government, engineering, science, computer technology, law, commerce, and the oil industry. Within the business sector, the UAE possess the largest number of businesswomen in the region where entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular, providing desired social flexibility between a woman’s traditional role in the home and widely emerging career aspirations. At the nine year old Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, women constitute 43% of its investors while the city’s Businesswomen’s association boasts 14,000 members. At the forefront of Emirati women in business is Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan al Qasimi, appointed Minister for Economy and Planning in November of 2004 and subsequently promoted to her current post as Minister of Foreign Trade. Sheikha Lubna holds the distinction of being the first woman to hold a ministerial post in the country. Promoting trade relations throughout the world on behalf of the UAE, her efforts have led her to be rated within the Forbes Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Politics and government

Within the public sector, governmental employment for Emirati women has increased from 11.6% in 1995, 22% in 2005 and 66% as of June 2007. Thirty percent of the diplomatic service, ministerial posts and senior administrative positions within government are represented by women – a confidence best exhibited by recent prestigious appointments. In September 2008, Hassa Al Otaiba and Sheikha Najla Al Qasimi became the UAE’s first female ambassadors, serving Spain and Sweden respectively.
Only a month later, these strides were preceded by swearing in of the Emirates’ first female judge, Kholoud Ahmed Juoan Al Dhaheri. The following month, Fatima Saeed Obaid Al Awani was appointed the country’s first female registrar. In a region where the testimony of a woman is widely questioned to have equal value to a man’s, the UAE became only the second Arab country with a female marriage registrar after Egypt. By 2006, women have accounted for over 22% of the Federal National Council.


The most significant accomplishment towards gender equality in the UAE, and even the region, is most visible through women’s participation in the military. Pursuant the 1991 Gulf War, Emirati women expressed a desire for preparation in defending their country. Subsequently, the Gulf region’s first military college for women – the Khawla bint Al Azwar Training College was established along with women’s corps within the Armed Forces. Females are granted the same training and responsibilities as their male counterparts including serving as fighter pilots, but are prohibited from serving in front line combat. The Dubai Police College, promotes the highest-ranked graduates of a six-month training course to the VIP Protection Corps where twenty women have thus far been accepted.

International involvement

Exceeding standard international obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the UAE regularly participates and hosts international conferences on women’s issues. Among the most recent have been the Women’s Global Economic Forum in Abu Dhabi during November 2007 and the Arab Women’s conference in November 2008. Often under the patronage of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, participation and agendas are frequently conjoined with local initiatives such as the Dubai Shelter for Women and Children (founded in 2007); the Social Support Center (affiliated to Abu Dhabi Police and Human Rights Care Department); Dubai Women Establishment (initiated in November 2006 under the presidency of HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum); the National Strategy for the Advancement of Women, a joint initiative with the United Nations Development Fund for Women; and the Family Development Foundation (established in 2006).


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