Abu Dhabi: Placing women in influential positions has a “a multiplier effect”, and encourages more women to aspire to greater heights, a top UAE minister said in the capital on Wednesday.
Addressing attendees at the inaugural Forbes’ 30/50 Summit in Abu Dhabi, Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister for Culture and Youth, urged women to aim for success in even more fields.
“Today, I am part of the UAE Cabinet along with eight other wonderful female colleagues, who make up more than a quarter of the UAE Cabinet, overseeing portfolios like food security, advanced technology and public education. Women also make up 50 per cent of the Federal National Council, and 66 per cent of the public workforce. In the private sector, there are 23,000 Emirati businesswomen overseeing projects worth Dh50 billion,” Al Kaabi said.
“We have female judges and diplomats, astronauts and fighter pilots. Each of these women make a huge contribution to our nation. The number of women in influential positions has a multiplier effect. Young Emirati girls have role models whom they aspire to follow, and we owe so much to our female expat community who consider the UAE home,” she added.
Al Kaabi credited the UAE leadership, including Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, for empowering Emirati women, and women in the UAE in general, and added that the country now boasts an impressive list of women whose work has been praised globally. She also urged women to empower, inspire and transform one another.
Room for more
“There is always room for progress. We want to see more female entrepreneurs. We want to see more female ministers and leaders in every field,” Al Kaabi said.
The minister’s comments came at the ultimate event of the inaugural Forbes 30/50 Summit, which saw leading women from 37 countries converge on the UAE capital to discuss their experiences, achievements and ideas. A number of attendees also used their platform to call for global peace and tolerance.
The event coincided with International Women’s Day on March 8, and saw Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, awarded the first-ever Forbes International Women’s Day Lifetime Achievement Award.
The work of two courageous Afghan women — Naheed Farid and Zarifa Ghafari — was also recognised. The two activists were presented with the Changemaker Award on Tuesday for their efforts to defend the rights of women against the Taliban.
The summit will be hosted in Abu Dhabi over the next three years, bringing together leading women from Forbes’ ’30 Under 30’ and ’50 Over 50’ lists with a mission of forming alliances and offering mentorship opportunities.