Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak praises women in the UAE during rare interview
"My ambitions for the achievement of more gains for women in all fields are without limits," Sheikha Fatima said as she discussed the admiration she has for UAE women.
In a recent interview with the Nation Shield – the monthly journal of the Armed Forces – the Mother of the Nation and widow of the founding President, Sheikh Zayed, shared her opinions on the role of women, described the struggles they faced in the country's early days, and addressed the challenges ahead.
"Emirati women should become a real active partner, and not just a participant, in the completion of the programmes and plans for sustainable development and the achievement of progress and prosperity for the nation," she stated.
Sheikha Fatima spoke at length of how her late husband laid the foundations for women's empowerment in the UAE, and how the efforts made in the 1970s have boosted women's rights and the journey towards a successful role that females can have in today's society.
Saying that Sheikh Zayed, "Encouraged and supported me without limits for the advancement of women, encouraged them to learn, and directed structures and organisations to be established that deal with women's issues and rights", Sheikha Fatima explained.
One of Sheikha Fatima's biggest achievements was the creation of the General Women's Union in 1975. "The establishment of the women's union with the unlimited support of Sheikh Zayed constituted one of the pillars of the federation, as well as a major turning point in the march of progress for women," she said.
During the interview, Sheikha Fatima mentioned another step for the progress of women, back in 1997, when she announced that women should participate in the political system.
Sheikha Fatima also described how the UAE's efforts in ensuring women receive equal rights have been progressing, "The UAE was quick to respond to the Universal Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Child Abuse and has taken a number of decisions, decisive measures and preventive solutions to prevent violence against children and women."
Among her other remarkable work for women, Sheikha Fatima also chairs the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood established in 2001 and the Family Development Foundation established in 2006.