NAT 200818 Tolerance Sheikh Nahyan-1598600090045
Sheikh Nahayan speaks at the conference. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan recognised the innate power of women that was essential to the development of this new nation, stressed Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

Sheikh Nahayan was speaking at a conference discussing “The Role of Women in Fostering values of Coexistence” was held by the Ministry of Tolerance on Wednesday under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

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The discussion focused on women’s power in fostering the values of coexistence and tolerance while keeping an outlook on the next fifty years and how tolerance will continue to be nurtured by the many active female hands in the UAE.

The virtual event welcomed a panel of prominent Arabic and international speakers. Among them were, Princess Lamia bin Makid Al Saud, The Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropic Foundation, Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, Sara Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Women’s Union, Mouna Ghanem Al Marri, Director General, Government of Dubai Media Office and many others.

International names

International names included Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garce, Former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Jacqueline O’Neill, Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security in Canada and a number of distinguished leaders and thinkers from across the Arab region and International stage.

Sheikh Nahayan, in his opening address, said: “Today’s event would not have amazed the great founder of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahayan. For him, every day in the UAE was Women’s Day. He recognised the innate power of women. That power was essential to the development of this new nation. He drew upon the wisdom, vision, and energy of his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. For decades she has worked to empower women through her outstanding work.”

Lamia Al Saud

Al Saud said: “Through dialogue and conversation we were able to build bridges between the different cultures and religions, and above all, are successful in empowering women and girls who contribute to our achievements in forging strategic partnerships with academic and creative industries. We have been successful in establishing a society with no borders, in line with our inherent understanding of the importance of coexistence and the roles women and men play in creating a promising future.”

Sheikh Nahayan quoted His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as saying, “The UAE is a place of tolerance, coexistence and openness to other cultures. [Women understand] that tolerance breeds empathy. They understand that instead of ignoring and fearing those who are different, we must engage them with respectful curiosity. Today, we recognise that women worldwide excel in unleashing the power of tolerance and productive coexistence.”

Al Mazrui called upon all girls to raise their senses of responsibility and ambition, and to foster a spirit of coexistence and tolerance in society.

Al Marri pointed out that women enjoy huge opportunities in achieving much more in further fostering the UAE’s leading role globally.

Benjamin stressed that women’s voices must be heard globally, hoped that the United Kingdom would establish a Ministry of Tolerance.