Empowering UAE national women


Tierney, who is on a short visit to the country to monitor the progress of WIT, was speaking to newsmen in the capital yesterday.

The WIT, which is administered by the Institute of International Education, US (IIE) for the Middle East Region and North Africa, in cooperation with the software company Microsoft, is financed by the US State Department.

The programme was launched in the UAE in January 2007, in coordination with the UAE General Women’s Union (GWU). The objective was to impart training to women on information technology, personal skills and professional skills development.

So far, some 60 women from GWU, Fujairah Islamic and Scientific Academy, and Women Development Association in Ras Al Khaimah have graduated in the programme.

Some 150 women, including housewives, are expected to take part in the three-month training course, which will commence in October under the supervision of GWU.

Commenting on the response of national women, Tierney said: “They (national women) have responded positively to the programme. Most of them, especially those with no IT experience, believe the programme has helped them to have stronger position in their families, at work place as well as in their acceptability in the job market.”

She said efforts were under way to encourage the private sector to support the programme by offering participants with internship opportunities.

“We are also thinking of starting clubs at women’s unions in the countries which participate in WIT so that they have a place to come together and share their concerns and challenges,” said Tierney.

WIT has been introduced in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and Iraq with the main objective of empowering women in the field of IT.


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