The Suhoor, which was held at Kahraman Ramadan Majlis at Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre, in the presence of Reem bin Karam, Director of NAMA and Sheikha Hind Majid Al Qassimi, Acting Chairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council, SBWC, and a select group of female entrepreneurs, business leaders and members from all of NAMA's entities. The women shared their experiences of success in managing their own projects and the importance of improving women’s standing in the community as well as how to empower women economically to enable them play key role in the development of the nation.
NAMA stressed its determination to continue empowering women through systematic planning in which all efforts are combined to enhance their abilities and skills to make positive changes in society. The establishment implements long-term strategies to provide a supportive environment for women and facilitate their access to services, knowledge, resources and support systems.
Reem bin Karam said: “In this 2018 UAE Year of Zayed, we renew our commitment to the noble values of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who taught us that the progress of women is fundamental to the development of our country. As he said, ‘Nothing pleases me more than seeing Emirati women assuming their role in society and achieving their rightful position. Nothing should hinder the march of women’s progress. Like men, women have the right to assume the highest positions according to their abilities and qualifications.’”
She added: "The UAE’s support of women is exemplified by the efforts of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak (Mother of the Nation), Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, to support women’s advancement, as well as in line with the vision of his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA, who dedicates her efforts and time to build the capabilities of women and elevate their status at all levels.
“Thanks to the efforts of NAMA’s partners, we have improved the status of Emirati women in various economic, social and creative fields. Women across the world need support to achieve their own dreams and assume their roles in the advancement of humanity.”
She called on the audience to open new prospects of joint action and highlight the achievements of women leaders in the region, the Middle East and across the rest of the world. “Our achievements on a local level motivate us to work harder. Today Emirati women hold 66 per cent of all public sector jobs, the highest in the world, and about 9% of private sector jobs. There are 21,000 businesswomen in the UAE ".
During Suhoor, Emirati craftswomen working under Bidwa Social Development Programme, an initiative of Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, received a collective award in recognition of their contributions to reviving the country’s heritage industries and engaging younger generations by modernising traditional crafts.
Before Suhoor, NAMA presented a short video about its most important achievements over the past year, including the organisation of the first edition of the the Women's Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS) held last December in collaboration with UN Women and NAMA’s successful participation in the GITEX Technology Week, which aimed to support and empower emerging businesswomen and entrepreneurs and help them establish their own businesses in IT.
The film reviewed key events organised by the NAMA including the Sharjah Business Women Council, Badiri Education and Development Academy, the education arm of NAMA and Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council. Activities also included workshops and training programmes for girls and women willing to improve their professional performance and establish their own businesses.
At the conclusion of the Suhoor, NAMA honoured the sponsors, partners and organisations which supported its projects and programmes and contributed to delivering its messages. NAMA’s partners in success are: General Women's Union, Ministry of Economy, Sharjah Media Bureau, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Sharjah Police Headquarters, Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Sharjah Department of Economic Development, Sharjah Social Services Department, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, Sharjah City Municipality, Sharjah Consultative Council, Sharjah Capability Development, The Big Heart Foundation.
Also included were Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre, University of Sharjah, Emirates Diplomatic Academy, Sharjah Ladies Club, Family Development Centres, Sharjah Women's Sports Foundation, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Education for Employment, Pearl Initiative, UN Women – UAE Liaison Office for the GCC, The British Embassy – Abu Dhabi, Shbeemann Consulting, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Crescent Enterprises, Zulekha Healthcare Group, Tourism Attache at the Embassy of the Republic of the Seychelles – Abu Dhabi, Pepsico, Lamha Flowers, May Flowers, Paper Fig and Skyline Travel.
Others who were honoured are Hala Kazim, Wafa Balaswad, Raghda Taryam, Board Member at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nada Askar – Director General of Sharjah Women's Sports Foundation, Noor Al Noman, Director of Sharjah eGovernment, Amal Haliq, Azzalia, Bint Thani, Halima Seemba, Mariam Al Mazrou, Gardenia, Dr. Samiha Lutfi, Safiya AlShehi, Afra Al Basti, Asma Hasooni, Rania Rostom, Dr. Mai Al Jaber, and Moza Al Khayyal.