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10 Emirati Women in Powerful Positions

Ohood Al Roumi

Be it politics, social issues, academics, arts or science, the women of the UAE have made their mark in every field and have been instrumental towards making the UAE a place of equality and inclusion.

The UAE is proud to be teeming with women who thrive on making the country even greater.

Sheikh Mohammed has also been active in smashing the glass ceiling for women in the Middle East and in 2015 the government appointed the UAE’s first female speaker along with an Emirati woman being allotted a position in the UN.

Since then, the UAE ranks as the number one region for females in leadership positions according to a study that was conducted in 132 countries and these are just 10 of the thousands of women who are truly making a difference and demonstrating real girl power…

Reem Al Hashimi

A Harvard University graduate who contributed a great deal in Dubai’s winning bid to host Expo 2020, Reem Al Hashimi is not only Director General for the expo, she also holds the position of UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and became a cabinet minister in 2008.

Al Hashimi is also a chair person of a children’s education charity, Dubai Cares, established in 2007 by Sheikh Mohammed.

Amongst many of her noble work and achievements, she is instrumental in the UAE’s plans to welcome 15,000 Syrian refugees into the Emirates and told a UN summit, “…ultimately, we must offer a source of hope for displaced persons that allows them to maintain dignity, return home, reintegrate themselves into their societies, and rebuild their countries and their lives.”

HE Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg

Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg is a Dubai based woman and takes the lead when it comes to encouraging young, female Arab entrepreneurs to achieve their potential. She is the president of the Dubai Business Women’s Council and among many others, a board member of the Dubai Women’s Association.

Above all the positive contributions she makes toward the improvements of women’s rights in the region, Al Gurg is the managing director of Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group which is a multidivisional corporation dealing with retail, building and construction.

In 2015, Forbes Middle East named her the 2nd Most Powerful Woman in the Middle East.

Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak

Sheikha Fatima is the woman responsible for establishing the country’s first women’s society, the Abu Dhabi Women’s Development Association in 1973, followed by the General Women’s Union in 1975, Family Development Foundation in 2006 and Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in 2003.

The Mother of the Nation collaborated with the UN High Commission for Refugees and helped establish the Arab Women Organisation to serve immigrant Arab women who need assistance.

Throughout the years she has achieved more than 500 awards for her dedication to her work, 30 of which were presented by the UN.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed Al Maktoum

The daughter of daughter of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, mother of 5 and also the president of the UAE’s Gender Balance Council and Dubai Women’s Establishment, this busy royal is constantly on the go.

Much of her time is dedicated to establishing gender equality in the region and has helped to create a guide book for UAE companies on the matter. Not only is she making the workplace for women a fair one, she has also helped extend maternity leave for public sector workers.

On founding the DWE in 2006, she said, ““In today’s rapidly evolving world, roles, responsibilities and expectations are constantly changing, especially for women, acquiring leadership positions and playing an integral part in this process of evolution is no longer a matter of choice but a vital necessity. Every member of our society is required to contribute to making the world a better place.”

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi

Lubna Al Qasimi held the title of the most powerful woman in the Middle East in 2015 and in 2017, the most powerful Arab woman in government and doesn’t intend to slow down.

She is the UAE’s Minister for Tolerance and one of the region’s most prominent female leaders.

She is a royal with a passion for women’s rights with a strong objective to put the UAE at the forefront on this matter.

Being the first woman to be appointed a ministerial position in the UAE and the first Emirati to receive the Clinton Global Citizen Award, Sheikha Lubna believes that she can use her position to enforce the idea that gender equality in educational opportunities is vital in achieving economic empowerment for women, she also stated, “equality is an integral part of the national agenda.”

Ohood Al Roumi

What is a Minister of Happiness you might ask? The title may come across as a bit strange for such a prominent governmental position, but Ohood Al Roumi can assure you of the depth of her position.

Since being appointed Minister of Happiness in 2016, Al Roumi has launched numerous initiatives around the UAE, including a 100- Day Happiness Plan, and positivity training for local businesses; her initiatives are based on the “science of happiness.”

“It touches on medicine, health, social sciences. We’re trying to bring it from a broad framework into a daily practice in our society, in our government. What is the purpose of government if it does not work toward the happiness of the people?” she asks.

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh was the first woman to be appointed Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in 2013, and was then elected to the presidency of UN-Women Executive Board in 2017.

A strong advocate for gender equality and female leadership and empowerment, she stated in her acceptance speech, “…the constitution of the UAE guarantees equal rights for both women and men, and underpins the fundamental belief that women and men are equal partners in society.”

HE Mona Al Marri

Mona Al Marri is a passionate advocate for women, which makes perfect sense since she is the Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

Alongside Sheikha Manal, Mona has worked on updating the UAE’s maternity laws and implementing gender equality guidebooks for the workplace and has most recently represented this region at a UN panel in New York.

“The winds of change are blowing, and believe me you don’t want to be left behind,” she stated in an interview.

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi

In 2006 she became the first woman to be designated to the Federal National Council, and told the Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament that women are essential in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East, “…we live in one of the most conflicted regions in the world. Hope is our secret. We should work together not alone, male and female, youth and all generations, and with all the different sectors, our scientists and thinkers.”

Dr Amal Al Qubaisi made history in 2015, by becoming the first woman in the Arab world to also be elected as speaker of a national council and in her acceptance speech dedicated her achievement to the great women of the UAE and to the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. She continues to inspire female leadership in the region.

HE Noura Al Kaabi

Noura Al Kaabi was named one of Forbes Middle East’s 30 Most influential Women in Government 2014 and last year came 15th place in Gulf Business’ 2017 list of 100 Most Powerful Arabs – and if that’s not powerful enough, is the twofour54 chairwoman.

As well as being a board member of the UAE’s National Media Council, Image Nation, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Al Kaabi in 2016, was appointed the Minister of State for National Council Affairs and continues to make waves towards growing the region’s media industry.

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