The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan had a very important advice for women, which is to get an education and then educate others, prominent Emirati women said on Tuesday.
Speaking in a seminar organised by Dubai Press Club about the development of women since the UAE federation, Dr Mona Al Bahar, Federal National Council Member, said there are currently 60 Emirati women with a doctorate degree teaching at the UAE University, other than women with high academic degrees who work for other universities and organisations.
Given a chance
"Ever since the UAE University was established, it was open to men and women, and both were given the chance to pursue higher education abroad, with the result being that we have over 200 Emirati women who hold a doctorate degree," she said.
Noura Al Budoor, Director of Recruitment at Tanmia, said she met the late Shaikh Zayed when she was a child in her school in Dubai.
"We were celebrating National Day in my school, for which I painted a painting that was twice my height, and the late Shaikh Zayed and the late Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum saw the painting and asked to see me," she said.
"Shaikh Zayed asked me how I managed to paint it, and I told him I stood on bricks to reach the higher part. He then told me that he wanted me to teach my brothers and sisters, which had been my goal ever since," she said.
Journalist Fatima Al Seri agreed, adding that she had met the late Shaikh Zayed one year before he died, and his advice to her was to focus on the education of women to empower them.
Played a role
Dr Mona said the UAE women played a role in the political life long before the discovery of oil and the UAE federation.
"History remembers women like Shaikha Hessa Al Murr, wife of the late Shaikh Saeed Al Maktoum, and Shaikha Salama, mother of the late Shaikh Zayed, and other women who were actively involved in political life," she said.
Men used to go pearl diving for months, and women used to run the community during these times. They were deeply involved in economics, politics and management, and they practised all kinds of work to support their families, Dr Mona added.