Dr Mohammad Bechari, Dr Ali Al Nuami, Nanda Bahadur Pun, Seema Khan and Saeed Hamdan Al Naqei during the conference in Kathmandu. Image Credit: Supplied

Kathmandu: An international conference organised by the Abu Dhabi-based World Muslim Communities Council (WMCC) in Kathmandu on Monday highlighted the key role played by women in the phenomenal development of the UAE, in the hope that it would be emulated in other countries as well.

The one-day conference is being held in the Nepali capital in association with the the non-profit Nepal Muslim Women Welfare Society (NMWWS) which is working towards empowering disadvantaged Muslim women within the hilly kingdom.

Addressing the opening session in the morning, Dr Muhammad Bechari, WMCC general secretary, spoke on the the UAE leadership’s vision in empowering women in the country. “Our leadership has played an exemplary role in fostering women’s role for the inclusive development of the UAE,” he said.

Dr Ali Al Nuami, WMCC President, said, “In the UAE, we have seen the outcome of engaging and empowering women in our development process. Just two days ago, our leadership announced 2019 as the Year of Tolerance. UAE is a multicultural society and we are proud of our diversity, which is a source of strength and not a threat.”

He said, “No nation can achieve its real objective of development unless it empowers its women. We in the UAE want to show the world the achievements we have realised by engaging women from all over the world.”

Nepal Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, who inaugurated the conference, said,”Nepal is a multiethnic, multi-linguistic and multi- religious country which also prides itself with its diversity.”

He said the inclusive development of Nepal would not be complete without the participation of women, especially from the Muslim community, many of whom are oppressed and lagging behind in social and economic progress.

He said the Constitution has ensured that women are given their due, but unless society does away with its patriarchal mindset, true change cannot come about.

Seema Khan, NMMWS chairperson, who spoke on the struggle of women in the backward sections, hoped the conference would pave the way for some concrete steps that can be taken to improve their lot.

UAE Ambassador in Nepal Saeed Hamdan Al Naqei was also present.