UAE’s Motherhood and Childhood awarded by H.H. Sheikha Fatimah
As it has been just announced, the women's representation in UAE’s Federal National Council (FNC) will be increased to 50 percent in the coming parliamentary term. That was the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In a step reflecting the country's future approach aimed at achieving full empowerment of Emirati women and emphasizes their pioneering and effective role in all vital sectors of the UAE. According to the President’s directives, the current percentage of women's representation in the Council from 22.5 percent to 50 percent in the coming parliamentary term, aiming to place UAE in top positions worldwide in terms of representation of women in parliament. To note that this step will enable the UAE women to achieve, in a record time, what has been achieved by their international counterparts in decades.
Such an outstanding for this region’s progress in advocating and promoting the women’s rights is undeniably associated with Her Highness Sheikha Fatimah bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation. She started her activity since November 8, 1973, when she established the Abu Dhabi Women’s Development Association. At that time it was proved to be not only the first women’s organization of its kind in the UAE, but also all across the Arab part of the region. Further on Sheikha Fatimah sponsored the establishment of several other women’s associations in all the emirates of the Union. On August 27, 1975 her outstanding efforts for women’s development culminated in the establishment of the General Women’s Union. In 2001 Sheikha Fatima contributed to the formation of Supreme Council for Maternity and Childhood in 2001, of which she is presently the Chairperson.
As President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood Sheikha Fatimah introduced in 2016 special award for Motherhood and Childhood. What is the specific of this kind of awards? The award opens the doors of excellence and innovation, both locally and internationally, aiming to prioritise mothers and children and find the means of providing them with the best care. This year the ceremony marking the announcement of the winners of the award was held at the Emirates Palace on November, 20 in the presence of Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council; Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance; along with a number of Sheikhas, Saudi princesses, ministers, dignitaries, and state officials.
The Awards announced during the ceremony were classified in several categories. Those for the best initiatives and scientific research to support children and women were centerpiece during the ceremony. Among the honourees was Princess Sara Al Faisal bint Abdel Aziz Al Saud, Chairwoman of Saudi Arabia's Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women whose prize was received on her behalf by Princess Haifaa Al Faisal bint Abdel Aziz Al Saud. The other categories were presented as follows:
-Best Scientific Research in the field of Motherhood & Childhood (attributed to the Abu Dhabi Health services Co. / AHS and especially to the researcher Dr. Salma Al Ahbabi for the results received in her redearch titled “Prevalence of postpartum depression among mothers in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi”);
-Leading Mother and Child Friendly Entity (attributed to the General Secretariat of the Executive Council (GSEC) for supporting mothers with the right to work. Based on the UAE Constitution and legislations, GSEC has been doing so by following the principle of equality and equal opportunities between them and men while achieving family and professional balance).
-Best Campaign/Outreach Program in the field of Motherhood & Childhood (attributed to the Abu Dhabi Police Children’s Patrol - one of the main goals of emergency vehicle campaign is to build robust relation with children and their parents to the importance of their role in the community to be partners with Abu Dhabi police in maintaining the safety and security in the daily lives).
-Best Initiative in Early Education (attributed to the Early Intervention Center at Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. The center seeks to provide the most up-to-date materials in childhood and to eliminate evidence based best practice, which, in turn, empowers the child as a whole, with continuous results, in the form of functional and appropriate intervention goals).
-Best Initiative in Empowering children with disabilities (attributed to the People of Determination Council which is an initiative launched by The Dubai Police in order to cope with the National Policy as well as The Dubai Future Strategy (2020). It aims at transforming Dubai into a People of Determination friendly environment under the slogan: My Society is For Everyone).
-Best Initiative in the field of Child Protection (attributed to the "Child Rights Protection Initiative" in Ajman Police General Headquarters which aims at Child Protection as part of the WADEEMA'S CHILD RIGHTS Committee. It also oversees children's rights cases at comprehensive police centers, identify field challenges, sets current and future goals and activities in 'child protection and investigation of its cases').
- Best Community Contribution in the field of Motherhood & Childhood (attributed to the Sharjah Police General Command. Based on the principles of the Islamic religion, the Sharjah Police General Command has achieved the desired goals recommending the human treatment of all human beings in all spectrums, and the supreme directives of our wise government to pay attention to mother and child in all fields and levels)
-Best Initiative in the Support of Mother and Child’s Healthy Lifestyle (attributed to the Etihad Airways program called Flying Nanny In 2013 Etihad launched a dedicated inflight child-care assistance program for families by introducing a Flying Nanny on board long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights. Since then Etihad Airways have trained 2083 Flying Nannies in this role).
- Best Initiative in the Development of Children’s and Youth’s Talents (attributed to Al Jalila Cultural Center of Children which developed The Talents Scholarship Program. It aims at nurturing and developing children’s talents (7-18 years old), expand their awareness and exposure and enrich their cultural learning and understanding. The program targets both Nationals and residents of the UAE of all nationalities. The Award was received by HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai).
- Leading Nursery (attributed to the Kids Palace Nursery, a non-profit governmental nursery affiliated to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MoPA). It provides its services to 100 child of MoPA’s employees in order to create a healthy and balanced work environment for mothers and fathers).
H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Reem Al Falasi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, honoured the key personalities that play eminent roles in supporting mothers and children, atop of whom is H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, whose prize was received by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, was honoured as well and received his prize from H.H. Sheikh Hazza in recognition of his significant role at the local and international levels in protecting children.
Abu Dhabi Media Company was honoured as the best media entity supporting childhood programmes and Director-General Dr Ali bin Tamim received the award. Ahmed Mohammed Al Humairi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, received the 'best nursery award' which was won by the UAE Presidential Court.
In her word marking the occasion, Al Falasi expressed sincere gratitude to the colossal efforts made by H.H. Sheikha Fatima in providing mothers and children with utmost care and protection.