Home News UAE Press: From astronauts to politicians, the UAE’s female citizens are only gaining more ground

UAE Press: From astronauts to politicians, the UAE’s female citizens are only gaining more ground

by Dubai Forum
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ABU DHABI, 28th August, 2022 (WAM) — The UAE has the rare characteristic of being a country that is younger than some of its own citizens. The culture is old, but the nation is new. Just more than 50 years old, steering it has been an immense responsibility. But it has also brought great opportunities. Emirati Women’s Day, which is today, is a good moment to reflect on this intriguing aspect of the country’s story, according to an editorial published by The National on Sunday.

The Abu Dhabi-based English daily wrote in its daily comment that:”As such a young country, the UAE has had the chance to shape a society that learnt from this past. Progress is constant. It is also very tangible in 2022.

Last week, The National wrote about Aisha Al Mansoori, the first Emirati woman to become a captain at Etihad Airways, the national carrier. It is a great technical achievement, but also one on a deeper, personal level. Ms Al Mansoori was fulfilling a dream close to her heart. “When I first saw aircraft and pilots, I just fell in love. I knew that is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

The determination this required should not be forgotten. Captaincy was not handed to Ms Al Mansoori on a plate. She joined the airline as a cadet pilot, where she started out on a small four-seat, single-engine plane. The journey to commanding the more than 130-seat Airbus A320, as she does today, involved 6,000 flight hours and 15 years of service to the airline. Her wider family is also symbolic of what women can achieve in the Emirates. Ms Al Mansoori’s sister, Maj Mariam Al Mansoori, is the UAE’s first female fighter pilot.” Another Emirati woman achieving literal sky-high success in 2022 is Nora Al Matrooshi, who last year was selected to join the UAE’s astronaut programme, making her the first female astronaut in the history of the Arab world. This year has been a busy one as she undergoes basic training, which began in January. In June, The National wrote about Ms Al Matrooshi and her colleague Mohammad Al Mulla taking to the skies in supersonic jets, an important step in their intensive two-year training programme at Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

Those are just three examples from one sector in the UAE’s ever-diversifying economy and society. Today, The National has spoken to women excelling in a variety of fields, from architecture to poetry. Their achievements are too many to list, but it is certain that their ongoing accomplishments will inspire more women in the UAE.

While careers are an important metric of success, it is important to remember that the crucial role women play extends into other domains, too. Last week, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Mother of the Nation, lauded the contribution of Emirati women in the story of the UAE. She has been close to the country’s development for decades, and is a symbol of the crucial role women play in politics, society and family life.

Emirati women’s day is a point in the year that all should celebrate, male and female. There is much to congratulate Emirati women on, and next year, as this trend continues, there will be even more,” The National concluded.

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