H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, wife of the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and president of UAE Women’s Association, will be honoured during the Emirates Business Women Award ceremony, in recognition of her contribution to the welfare of women. The Emirates Business Women Award to be held on May 16, 2005 at the Grand Hyatt Dubai is being organised by Shell and Dubai Quality Group.
H.H. Sheikha Fatima has been known for her leadership and dedicated commitment to the cause of promoting the welfare and well-being of women in the United Arab Emirates. Sheikha Fatima founded the Abu Dhabi Women’s society in 1973, which was the first women’s society in the Emirates. In 1975 she founded the UAE Women’s Federation, which was formed to create an opportunity for women to realise their full potential through education and work related training.
Sheikha Fatima has been an active advocate on issues related to women’s equality and women’s rights. She has been campaigning to significantly increase the employment of women in Government sectors and to ensure suitable conditions at the workplace for working mothers. Her efforts in putting women on the path to gaining access and participation in the political and economic institutions, has also been commendable.
Sheikha Fatima’s leadership and unwavering commitment to the cause of women’s empowerment, gender equality and the welfare of the community at large has been truly outstanding. She successfully used the Women’s Federation as a medium to advance the status of women in society and help them to achieve their full potential. She consolidated the women’s movement and gave it a sense of direction at the national level and later led the Women’s Federation towards taking regional and global perspectives into account.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, Shell External Affairs Manager, said, “H.H. Sheikha Fatima has been a role model to thousands of women across the Arab world who drew inspiration from her efforts in various societal aspects like well being of children, orphans, aged and the disabled. By honouring Sheikha Fatima on the occasion of the Emirates Business Women Award, we are making a humble attempt to pay tribute to the huge contribution she has made to women’s welfare in the region.”
The role of Sheikha Fatima in voluntary services and charity is also noteworthy. She has provided both personal and financial support for non-governmental and civil society organisations, to further community participation in developmental and humanitarian assistance to the needy.
Sheikha Fatima was instrumental in providing free state education to girls and ensuring adult literacy in the UAE. Using the various branches of the Women’s Federation, Sheikha Fatima ensured that the opportunity to enter literacy programmes were made available to older women, not only in cities and larger towns but also in smaller settlements throughout the country.
“We are grateful to H.H. Sheikha Fatima for empowering women in the UAE and helping them believe in their abilities to assume leadership roles in various economic and political spheres. She has instilled a sense of ‘giving’ in the minds of women, for whom. Sheikha Fatima has been a pillar of strength. We are certain that more women will follow in her footsteps to build a strong, developed and prosperous society,” concluded Al Mahmoudi.