On the occasion of the UAE’s 46th National Day

H.H Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak

Abu Dhabi 01 December 2017

"On this special day, we continue to mark our nation’s glorious history which began with our Founding Fathers who, on 2nd December 1971, shattered the darkness, and planted seeds of hope in the desert sands. We are here today celebrating this proud and glorious moment in our nation’s history, inheriting the values and spirit of loyalty that our forefathers have left us," H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak said.

"The UAE has achieved great strides in the past period thanks to sincere national efforts and has reached record highs in comprehensive development plans across various sectors," she added.

"The UAE's prestige is reflected in the reports and indices issued by regional and international bodies and institutions, especially those in global competitiveness, ranking the nation among the world's most advanced countries that have achieved happiness and satisfaction for its citizens and residents alike," she said.

She went on to say that women in the UAE have advanced further within the political and economic empowerment initiatives adopted by the nation under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Mother of the Nation lauded the implementation of these policies, noting that women account for 66 percent of government sector positions, 30 percent of which are in senior decision-making faculty, and 15 percent in professional posts including academia, medicine, teaching, pharmaceutical, and nursing positions.

"Today, women occupy the highest positions in all fields and contribute effectively to leading the UAE’s development and progress through their participation across executive, legislative, and judicial authorities among other various leadership positions," she noted.

The percentage of women's participation in the UAE’s economic activity and the labour market has increased steadily following the establishment of the Emirates Businesswomen Council, she pointed out, adding that. "Over 22,000 women in business are registered in the nation’s chambers of commerce and industry, working in local and international markets with investments exceeding AED40 billion dirhams."

Speaking on the education sector, H.H. Sheikha Fatima highlighted the nation’s inclusive and unified education policy. She went on to say that women and young girls now make up 70 percent of primary, secondary and tertiary education student populations.

"We have ensured that the daughter of the UAE receives the support and encouragement needed to be an active member of society and participating in all sectors, in accordance with the National Strategy for Empowerment of Emirati Women," she said.

She went on to say that the strategy’s implementation has helped to train women cadres in all fields, such that they are now active participants in the Armed Forces and the engineering and sciences sector and have even reached the highest of positions in the UAE parliament. She noted that Emirati women also play an essential role in the nation’s volunteer initiatives.

"President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has always reiterated that the role of women in society is not simple. She is the caretaker of generations, protecting the home and family, while also working hard to ensure the nation’s renaissance on its journey of progress and development," she said.

Her Highness also praised the UAE’s advanced international standing in terms of the care of the elderly, people of determination, and mothers and children, adding that the United Nations has recommended that other countries across the world should benefit from the UAE’s experience in these areas.

These tremendous cultural and social accomplishments garnered by the nation have had positive repercussions on UAE society, Sheikha Fatima said, adding that these achievements have helped to enhance cohesion and to strengthen unity and solidarity among its people, thereby assuring the security and stability of the country and its future generations.

Sheikha Fatima continued, "I am pleased that our National Day celebrations coincide with Commemoration Day, which the UAE President has declared as a day where the nation remembers our martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend our homeland and ensure that it continues to progress on its glorious journey."

"Celebrating UAE National Day is a symbol of pride and victory for UAE women, as they consider this day an important turning point for their advancement as well as the beginning of the rise of a modern and tolerant nation that seeks to ensure that its people are qualified and possess the necessary abilities to confirm their roles in the state’s progress," she explained. The Mother of the Nation then quoted President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa as saying, "Human resources are the true wealth of nations."

"On this glorious day, we recall, with pride, our pioneering founding fathers, led by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the cornerstones of the nation’s march for progress, with visionary wisdom, sincerity, and dedication," she said.

"May Allah the Almighty bless our sons and daughters on their march towards progress and development, and may our nation continue to raise its flag high and with pride," Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak concluded.