NAJAH, the most comprehensive education, training and careers exhibition, hosted a ladies only morning today to help boost women’s education and careers in the UAE.
NAJAH, organised by IIR ME and currently taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, provides students, their parents, HR professionals and job seekers with a platform to meet and learn about reputed national and international universities, training centres and leading businesses looking to recruit new graduates.
The ladies only morning provided UAE women with a comfortable environment to learn more about their growing opportunities as well as to meet those in the business community who can address their special priorities.
Female students and graduates were able to access the very popular job profiling assessments section of the exhibition, run by Arabian Assessments, as well as visit the careers counselling lounge and attend interactive seminars.
“Women in the UAE have been making strides in achieving qualifications and joining the workforce,” said Christine Weaver, Exhibitions Director of IIR Middle East. “We are pleased to contribute to this progress by dedicating a special morning for women to learn more about their education and career options at NAJAH.”
Women account for a large proportion of the UAE workforce, specifically in sectors such as education and healthcare. According to figures from the Civil Service Commission more than 65 per cent of teachers are female.
Education for women has also shown progress as the number of female students registered at UAE schools has increased at a dramatic rate. Statistics show that approximately 270,000 female students were registered in the academic year 1996–97 compared with 19,000 in 1972–73.
In 1998, the UAE welcomed the opening of Zayed University; now in its tenth year, the university has graduated three classes and as approximately 3,200 national women studying. In 1975, 3,005 females graduated with their first university degree; by 1995, that figure had risen sharply to a staggering 61,496. Today, more than half the students at Abu Dhabi University are female, 1,560 of the 3,000 students.
While progress continues, there is still room for improvement as many women who achieve qualifications never obtain employment and there is still a lack of diversity in the fields that women pursue.
NAJAH exhibition was officially opened yesterday by Mrs Hamda Al Muhairbi, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi Emiratisation Council, who spoke passionately about women’s education in the UAE.
As the late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan said, "Nothing could delight me more than to see the woman taking up her distinctive position in society. Nothing should hinder her progress. Like men, women deserve the right to occupy high positions according to their capabilities and qualifications."