A five-year plan to develop the role of UAE women and find future female leaders has been launched.
The initiative by Dubai Women’s Establishment (DWE) was announced yesterday by its President Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs. About 70 per cent of the establishment’s plan will focus on working women and it is keen to discover more female leaders throughout the country.
Sheikha Manal said: “The plan is inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the future of Dubai, his aspirations for the role of the UAE women and his keenness to promote their social and economical roles.
“The establishment has been created in light of that vision and lay down the foundation required to achieve the targets of our plan according to the best international practices, while retaining the religious, traditional and cultural values of the UAE.”
Sheikha Manal said the establishment’s initiative is based on research that identified key requirements to ensure the advancement of UAE women, which will in turn complement the fast-paced development of the country. Sheikha Manal said DWE will also lobby for new legislation to support the UAE women in all fields. It will work with the authorities and government to achieve this.
The establishment’s five-year plan focuses on creating channels through which women’s potential can be developed. She said it covers training programmes, which will equip UAE women to meet the requirements of the working world.
Emirati women occupy more than 50 per cent of the jobs in the ministries and federal bodies, with their number totalling 4,470 as opposed to 4,271 national men, according to a report. It also said more than 5,692 UAE women are employed by Dubai Government entities alone, validating their contribution to the emirate’s development.
Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of DWE, said: “The statistics underscore the proactive role played by UAE women across all sectors, reaffirming the belief of the country’s leadership in women’s capabilities. With their strong presence in major corporations and government entities, women have proven to be competent facilitators of the country’s progress.
“A key contributing factor is the increasing percentage of girls attending UAE universities, which stands at 92 per cent, considered one of the highest in the world.”
The report gives a concise breakdown of the concentration of employed national women in the country’s key economic sectors. Leading the count, the healthcare sector in Dubai integrates more than 2,000 female employees, constituting about 65 per cent of the total workforce. More than 2,250 UAE women work in the education sector, representing 80 per cent of the total nationals employed in this sector. While 1,000 women have jobs in the security sector, around 350 are associated with the civil aviation and services, in addition to 150 in law enforcement.
The female literacy rate has also seen an upsurge over the past few decades. More than 16,100 UAE women aged between 25 and 29 hold a university degree in Dubai, as opposed to only 29 in the same age group 30 years ago.
Al Marri said: “The establishment’s objective is to help women tap opportunities in all domains while seeking new horizons. Our annual agenda includes a series of qualitative initiatives focusing on training and imparting special skills.
“Through our programmes, we support women in their commitment towards personal development, while providing an encouraging environment for them to contribute to the society at large.”
Board Members of Dubai Women’s Establishment
Director for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service, Nakheel
Shaheen was promoted to the present position at Nakheel in August 2006. Manal began her career at the Dubai World Trade Centre as Assistant Operations Manager. After a successful spell at DWTC, she took up the position of Assistant Sales Manager at Nakheel in 2003, and was soon promoted as Sales Manager. In 2005 Manal was appointed General Manager – VIP Sales, before being appointed Director – Sales, Marketing and Customer Services.
Secretary-General of the UAE Cabinet
Najla Mohammed Abdullah Al Awar has wide experience in managerial and technical fields, which she has attained since 1997 through her career in Dubai Aluminum, Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Executive Council and the Secretariat-General of the UAE Cabinet. She had a key role in the foundation of the Secretariat-General of the Executive Council, besides her role in the establishment of the Arab Strategy Forum’s “Edaad scholarships programme”, which is sponsored by Sheikh Mohammed.
NAJLA AL WADHI
Member of the Federal National Council
Al Awadhi was appointed in February 2007 as a representative from Dubai. She is one of the first women in the history of the UAE to be appointed to the FNC. She is also the youngest FNC member. Al Awadhi is the Deputy CEO of Dubai Media Incorporated. She is a board member of the Young Arab Leaders (UAE chapter) and heads its education initiative.
Assistant Secretary-General – The Dubai Executive Council
Sana Mohammed Suhail
A Hassan’s role in the Executive Council includes overseeing the input and output of meetings and documenting the official communications and decisions. She also heads the HR and business support unit at the Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed. She is in charge of planning and managing its support services of core business units. Prior to this, she headed the talent department at the Executive Office.
AZZAH AL SHARHAN
director, Emirates National development programme
Azzah Al Sharhan is a HR professional with diverse experience in a number of semi-government and private sector firms. She is currently the Director of the Emirates National Development Programme, which was launched in 2005. Her previous tenure was with Shell EP International where she was the Regional Skillpool Manager for Non-Technical Disciplines – Middle East, Russia and CIS. Before that she was the HR Planning and Development Manager in HSBC Bank Middle East.
DR MARYAM MATTAR
Executive Director of Dubai Social Development Strategic Plan 2006-2015
Dr Maryam Mattar is a community physician and graduate of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Leadership Programme (2004). She was an Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health. She was the executive team leader for Ministry of Health Strategy Plan (2008-2012). She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the UAE Generic Disease Association and the UAE Down Syndrome Association. She has been honoured with many awards.
Vice-President, Corporate Communications, du
Hala Badri is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic corporate communications programme and overseeing internal communications across the company and enhancing brand identity and visibility. A two-time winner of the Sheikh Rashid Award for Scientific Excellence, Badri has been a high achiever from her student days. Prior to du she was the Corporate Communications Manager at the Group Brand Management Department
DR LAMEES Hamdan
Chairperson of Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre, Dubai
Dr Lamees Hamdan graduated from Latifa School for Girls and then went on to do medicine in Dublin. Lamees received her medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians in Ireland. Her interest in skincare, and subsequently naturals, led to the establishment of Shiffa, a luxury skin and bodycare company that specialises in combining the latest advances in science and dermatology and premium grade natural products. She is also an avid art collector.
Chairperson of DWE
MONA AL MARRI
CEO of the Media Services Group
Al Marri is the CEO of the recently launched Media Services Group. The group includes the Dubai Press Club, A’Sidrah Public Relations and JiWin PR. She is the Vice-President of Dubai Ladies Club and a Board Leader of the Young Arab Leaders. She is a board member of Dubai Media Incorporated and was recently appointed Chairperson of the Dubai Women’s Establishment. Al Marri has played a leading role in establishing the Dubai Shopping Festival as a major annual cultural and retail event.
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