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UAE, Uzbekistan hold ‘Leading Women’s Forum’

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ABU DHABI, 23rd December, 2020 (WAM) — The governments of the UAE and Uzbekistan held the “Leading Women’s Forum’ in Uzbekistan, to exchange expertise and inspiring success stories in the area of women’s empowerment in both countries while focussing on the UAE’s pioneering experience in promoting the role of women in achieving sustainable development.

The virtual forum, which was held remotely as part of the strategic partnership in government modernisation between the two countries, was attended by Emirati and Uzbek female leaders and around 2,000 participants from public, private and civil society organisations in Uzbekistan.

The UAE was represented in the forum by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth; Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future; Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chief of Strategy and Government Innovation at the UAE Government; Dr. Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the Netherlands; Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council, and Hanan Mansour Ahly, Acting Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.

The forum highlighted the importance of achieving awareness about women’s empowerment and gender balance, as well as inspiring women and providing them with opportunities for professional development, and appointing them in leading positions related to the implementation of sustainable development plans. Several inspiring success stories from the UAE and Uzbekistan were also shared.

In her speech on women’s empowerment through art, Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture said that several studies have highlighted the role of women in creative areas since ancient times. “The presence of women in the art world has become equal to men. According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., women account for 51 percent of visual artists in the world today. However, there is a global trend to assess women’s empowerment through their role in economic, political and educational areas only,” she added.

Speaking about women’s empowerment in arts and culture, she said that related efforts began at an early stage in the UAE, noting that the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, always believed in the necessity of women’s participation in all areas of life. She then pointed out that the inauguration of the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi in 1981 reflected Sheikh Zayed’s passion and keenness to establish a vivid national cultural infrastructure.

“The keenness of the UAE’s leadership to support artistic female talents is highlighted by the support for artist Najat Makki, who is the first Emirati woman to receive a government scholarship to study art abroad in 1977, five years after the establishment of the UAE,” she further said.

Al Kaabi stressed that the name of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), is linked to women’s empowerment in the UAE, affirming her significant efforts to empower women in the UAE in all areas, including in arts and culture, since the establishment of the country.

In her opening speech, Al Roumi stressed that the forum is a valuable opportunity to benefit from visions, plans and success stories and explore the best practices in women’s empowerment in the two friendly countries while commending the efforts of the Uzbek Government in the area of women’s empowerment. She also highlighted the significant achievements of the strategic partnership between the two countries in government modernisation.

Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Senate of Uzbekistan, stressed the forum’s importance to supporting ongoing reform in Uzbekistan, through sharing visions for developing the capacities of female leaders. The forum aims to highlight important issues amidst the extraordinary conditions facing the entire world due to the coronavirus pandemic, she added, noting that one of Uzbekistan priorities is investing in women’s capacities and supporting their participation in all sectors.