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Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak: A Life Dedicated to the UAE's Welfare

posted on 19/03/2016: 999 views



H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has always prioritised the welfare and well-being of the women and children of the UAE. For her, children embodied the future of the nation and its real wealth.

As Abu Dhabi is getting ready to pay tribute to the Mother of the Nation and to thank her for a life dedicated to the UAE's progress, it is important to look at the diverse spheres in which Sheikha Fatima has left an indelible imprint. Her concern for and commitment to the long-term success of the UAE are best exemplified in her work for child welfare. This, of course, resonates with the legal and cultural orientations of the UAE, where the rights and welfare of children always figure high on the national priorities.

The establishment of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in 2003, which Sheikha Fatima herself headed from its inception, was a significant step in institutionalising the care and protection of children. The Council aims to extend its support in all spheres related to motherhood and childhood, especially with regard to education, culture and health. It also encourages studies and research as well as creation of awareness about motherhood and child welfare.

An important initiative that the Council launched was the setting up of a childhood index database on children in the UAE. This was done in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund and the National Statistics Centre.

In addition to her contributions in the UAE, Sheikha Fatima has also done much to help to improve the plight of women and children in many poor countries around the world. This has included the building of hospitals, schools, child and orphan care homes, shelter homes for victims of war and violence and other humanitarian assistance.

The Mother of the UAE has always taken a keen interest in girls' education, making it a priority. She motivated families to support their daughters in acquiring knowledge. She supervised an ambitious strategy to eliminate illiteracy in the United Arab Emirates, this being a great success that earned her appreciation at home and abroad.

Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak has paid much attention to woman's education out of her belief that education is the window through which women can view the civilisation of nations, besides education being the means by which they can keep up with the continuous march of development and progress within UAE society.

She urged girls to join the UAE University when it was established in 1978. She has been keen to act as patron of the successive graduation ceremonies of female students of the university since the first batch of 194 girls graduated on 1st March, 1982.

Today, the number of female graduates from this institution has reached thousands. The UAE is now one of the countries in the world where the participation of women in public life has consistently been rising phenomenally over the years.

H.H. Sheikha Fatima sponsored the first women's society established in the UAE in Abu Dhabi on 8th February, 1973. Later, such societies were established in other emirates too; all of them working together to coordinate their efforts and goals.

Headed by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the General Women's Union of the UAE was established on 27th August, 1975. Those were the early days of the Union. Thanks to her timely and dedicated efforts, the UAE today is hailed the world over as an exemplar of women's empowerment in the Arab world. The 'Mother of the Nation' Festival is, therefore, a mark of respect and gratitude. This is a nation saying 'thank you' in unison. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395293060448.html

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