Security issues need to be tackled: Fatima


“It is time for a detailed discussion of armed conflict, terrorism, disease and poverty and their impact on our lives and on Arab society as a whole,” said Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, AWO’s President and Chairperson of the UAE General Women’s Union.

Delivering a keynote speech at the third meeting of the AWO’s Supreme Council held for Arab first ladies in the capital yesterday, Shaikha Fatima stressed the need for tackling security issues, specially as, “Our Arab nation is currently passing through extremely difficult circumstances, and some Arab countries are experiencing crises for which there are no historical parallels.”

First ladies from Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Mauritania, in addition to representatives for first ladies from Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Palestine, Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman attended the one-day closed meeting.

Recommendations in favour of developing the status of women in the Arab world were issued at the end of the meeting. “We need to consider how it is possible to look forward to real development in societies where there is no security for their inhabitants, quite apart from the killing and violence that prevails in some parts of our Arab nation”, she said.

She said it is time to exert more efforts to promote dialogue between the world’s civilisations and for Arab countries to lay down a series of plans and programmes to promote dialogue with others. Addressing the high profile meeting, Shaikha Sabeekha bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain said the AWO has managed to create its own map as a women’s organisation that caters to develop the reality of Arab women in various domains.

She hailed Shaikha Fatima for her continuous support to ensure empowerment of Emirati woman in particular and the Arab woman in general. Leila ben Ali, Tunisia first lady said, “We meet today to reaffirm Arab women’s determination to promote their conditions, consolidate their position and materilaise their aspirations for further progress, solidarity and cooperation”. She said the agenda of the meeting clearly reflect Arab women’s awareness of requirements of current time.

Arab first ladies agreed at the end of the third meeting of the AWO’s Supreme Council to develop the Youth Strategy devised by Shaikha Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa to enhance Arab-International dialogue. The first ladies commended that this strategy must be further developed to help Arab youth to shift from Arab-Arab strategy to Arab-Global dialogue with the aim of breaking down cultural and civilisation barriers.

A data base must be established for all new projects and initiatives undertaken by the AWO to ensure emancipation of women, they recommended.

They proposed that a media strategy for Arab women that aims to correctly portray the image of women in the Arab world must be developed.

Training programmes that target empowerment of women in the fields of economy, law, leadership, politics, education and health, must be prepared for emancipation of Arab women, urged the first ladies.


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