ADFD Celebrates Emirati Women’s Day with Expert-led Seminar
Abu Dhabi,29 Aug 2017
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for development aid, celebrated the third annual Emirati Women’s Day, themed ‘Women are Partners in Giving’, with an inspirational seminar, to coincide with the UAE’s ‘Year of Giving’ initiative.
The seminar featured two distinguished and influential Emirati women including Her Excellency Dr Mouza Obaid Ghanim Ghubash, Chairwoman of the Rewaq Ousha bint Hussein Cultural Centre and Dr Maryam Matar, founder and Chairperson of the UAE Genetic Diseases Association (UAEGDA).
The panellists shared their notable journeys and individual achievements in becoming successful local and international personalities in their own right. Thanking the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his wise leadership, the women highlighted the country’s long history of driving and enabling equality in the workplace and society at large, a legacy of the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The seminar drew the participation of ADFD’s employees and invited guests, and offered the panellists a platform to discuss their key accomplishments. The session specifically focused on their roles as partners in influencing and contributing to the fields of science, technology, media, medicine, community development, engineering, social policy and services, genetic research and biotechnology, as well as in the humanitarian and political spheres.
Welcoming the panellists to ADFD’s headquarters, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “The Fund is proud to host Emirati women of your calibre. Your individual achievements have rivalled and often surpassed those of your male counterparts. Your combined efforts – in more way than one – have paved the way for young Emirati women to hope, reach, and achieve more. I encourage our audience today to learn from your insights that will help shape their own future goals and ultimately ensure a positive impact on the UAE’s development.”
“Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has proclaimed that this national occasion be celebrated every year on 28 August. Over the last three years, ADFD has celebrated Emirati women achievers on this occasion, and invited them to share their invaluable cross-industry experience and knowledge for the benefit of our nation’s young men and women.”
His Excellency Al Suwaidi added: “Under the wise leadership of the UAE President and the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, our nation has notched up several milestones in promoting gender equality. Furthermore, with the strategic counsel of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s Board of Directors, the Fund proudly employs 37 women, 35 of whom are Emirati. Four of the 35 hold senior managerial positions and are board members of companies in which ADFD has an investment stake.”
Speaking about her academic and professional journey as an Emirati woman, Her Excellency Dr Mouza Obaid Ghanim Ghubash, said that today the Emirati woman faces no obstacles, but instead enjoys a well-educated and tolerating UAE society. Dr Ghubash noted that growing up, her generation had to pave the way for change and with the support from family members, she was amongst the first to complete her university studies abroad. Moreover, she lauded all the on-going efforts by the UAE government and institutions in educating the public on the importance of empowering women.
Reaffirming the significant contributions of Emirati women to society, science, and economy, Dr Maryam Matar, said that Emirati women are determined and resilient and have considerably helped shaped the UAE today. She highlighted the monumental role Emirati men played in empowering and supporting Emirati women. Furthermore, Dr Matar added that, over the years, her experiences and interactions shaped her professional career. Emphasizing that as a strongminded and educated Emirati woman, she was able to establish 28 successful social initiatives.
As well as being a world-renowned sociologist, Her Excellency Dr Mouza Obaid Ghanim Ghubash has accumulated decades of experience and holds various senior positions across the country. She is the Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Community Affairs Supreme Council for National Security. For a period of 13 years, Dr Ghubash was a Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Assistance Humanities and Social Sciences at the UAE University. Moreover, she is an author and the presenter of the weekly Emirates channel programme – Rewaq. Dr Ghubash is an expert in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) particularly in the field of social policy and development. She also holds the position of General Secretary of the Sheikha Shamsa Award for Creative Women.
In addition to establishing and managing UAEGDA, Dr Maryam Matar is a scientist, expert in genetics, influencer and leadership mentor. She was recognised as the most powerful scientist in the UAE and named among the top 20 Arab scientists to have made the biggest contributions to humanity by the British Scientific Community. She delivers keynote speeches on emerging technologies, biotechnology, epigenetics, impact of genetic screening and leadership in more than 20 international conferences and events every year. Dr Matar was the first Emirati woman to hold the position of Director General of the Community Development Authority.