Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, marks Emirati Women’s Day by reaffirming its commitment to women in science. To date, Al Jalila Foundation has invested AED9 million to empower Emirati women pursuing careers in medicine and scientific research.
The Year of Zayed commemorates 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, whose timeless legacy and noble values continue to inspire generations. Sheikh Zayed believed that investing in people’s welfare, knowledge and capabilities would produce the highest dividends, and his investments in healthcare and education transformed the country and its quality of life. Sheikh Zayed was a strong advocate for women’s rights. He believed that "the woman is half of the society" and should be empowered, respected and developed to contribute equally to the country’s success.
The goal of Emirati Women’s Day is to highlight the accomplishments of women and honour them for their contributions to the development and advancement of the nation. In recognition of these remarkable efforts, this year’s Emirati Women’s Day will be held under the theme ‘Women on the Course of Zayed’.
In its efforts to be a leader in medical innovation, Al Jalila Foundation invests in the next generation of doctors by offering medical scholarships to Emirati students and research grants to UAE-based scientists. Since 2013, Al Jalila Foundation has awarded 59 medical scholarships of which 65% were to Emirati women pursuing careers in medicine and health sciences. In addition, 7 Emirati women pioneering important research for the region’s most pressing health issues are recipients of Al Jalila Foundation research and fellowship grants.
Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation, said, "We are thrilled to see so many Emirati women seizing the opportunity to take on leading roles in science. Today, with the support and encouragement of our leaders, Emirati women are already playing a prominent role across all industries and professions in the UAE. These women have proven to be strong, hardworking and resilient leaders with a goal to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. On this Emirati Women’s Day, we celebrate women’s contributions to the development and advancement of the UAE and know that by empowering our women, we empower our nation. It is with great pride and gratitude to our nation’s leaders, donors and the community that we mark this Emirati Women’s Day, in the Year of Zayed, and pledge our continued commitment to women in science."
Dalia Al Nuaimi, first graduate of Al Jalila Foundation scholarship for the Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery (MMSc-GHD) at Harvard Medical School, said, "Studying at HMS has added considerable depth to my career path and opened many doors for me as an Emirati researcher. I am proud to draw attention to the incredible work the UAE does in leading aid distribution globally. None of this would have been possible without the invaluable support and guidance of Al Jalila Foundation, and the scholarship, which allowed me to follow my dream of studying at Harvard Medical School."
Emirati women researchers are pioneering ground breaking research, such as Dr. Habiba Al Safar, recipient of two (2015, 2017) Al Jalila Foundation research grants to study cancer and diabetes. Dr. Habiba has received numerous accolades for her contributions to science: UAE First Pioneer Medal for Genomics Research (2014); Emirates International Award of Genetic Diseases Prevention in the category of Best Scientific Researcher in the field of Genetic Diseases Prevention (2014); and has ranked number 52 among the most powerful women in the Arab world by ArabianBusiness.com (2015).
Al Jalila Foundation has supported 44 Emirati women to date through postgraduate medical scholarships, research and fellowship grants, with an investment of over AED 9 million.