Emirati Women’s Day: How UAE empowers women with education

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Abu Dhabi: One is a leading doctor in Abu Dhabi, who also boasts three additional Master’s degrees, while another plans to take the world of engineering by storm after completing her university education.

Dr Ayesha Al Memari and Fatima Al Kaabi also have two Abu Dhabi Awards between them, and are convinced that none of these achievements would have been possible had they not been Emirati women.

“Emirati women are enabled and empowered. Whether as a student or as a career woman, I have always felt supported by our leadership, and their vision and the opportunities provided to us means that families also support their members to achieve their most ambitious goals,” Dr Al Memari, 40, told Gulf News.

She was speaking ahead of Emirati Women’s Day, which is celebrated on August 28 every year, with the aim of highlighting the contributions of Emirati women in the UAE.

Support in education

Dr Al Memari is an emergency medicine and critical care consultant at Al Mafraq Hospital, but her workload and responsibilities haven’t stopped her from pursuing a Master’s degree in quality and safety in healthcare management, another Master’s in organ donation and transplantation and a Master’s in business administration.

“I wanted to give back to my country after all the opportunities it has afforded me. After all, my medical degree and my specialisation in emergency medicine and critical care were only possible due to the scholarships I had received,” she said.

So although she is a physician leading her department, Dr Al Memari set out to enhance her qualifications in fields that would help her pay it forward, specifically in fields like organ transplantation that are priorities for the UAE.

Computer genius at 17

Like Dr Al Memari, Al Kaabi, 17, has also received a scholarship to study the subject she is passionate about. This fall, the young Emirati who was recognised as an inventor in 2015 will begin her undergraduate degree in computer engineering at Virginia Tech.

“My parents’ love for the sciences have carried over to me, especially as they have always encouraged me to dream big. The unquestionable support for women is also a hallmark of the UAE, where no woman is held back because of her gender,” Al Kaabi said.

During her studies abroad, Al Kaabi therefore wants to change the misconceptions about Emirati women.

“We are supported by our government, and are driven and ambitious. I want to portray this to the people I come across,” she said.

Sheikha Latifa congratulates Emirati women

Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairwoman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), congratulated Emirati women at home and those working in all fields on the Emirati Women’s Day, and said that UAE women continue to pursue their journey of success, with honour, hope and determination.

“Today, we stand in respect for the great strides made by our wise leadership in laying policies and programmes on women’s empowerment. This an exceptional day for Emirati women to inspire the meanings of love and giving for the nation from Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, who is the best example of a loving and giving woman and mother,” she said.

Sheikha Latifa urged Emirati women to continue their path towards a bright future.

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