HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi takes part in the International Conference Women Leaders in Science, Technology and Engineering

30 Oct 2017

“Empowering women empowers the whole society; comparing a few decades ago with the situation in the 21st century, we can see tremendous achievements with regards to women’s empowerment and gender balance,” said Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, President of Zayed University.

This came during the 10th edition of the International Conference on Women Leaders in Science, Technology and Engineering, which is being held from (Oct 24 - 26) by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the US Department of State (DOS).

The event, titled ‘Women’s Empowerment with Science,’ hosts accomplished role model women to share success stories and strategies to inspire the next generation of women and maximize the potential of a STEM education. Collective insights emerging from the discussion highly emphasized sustainable solutions; expand networking platforms and mobilize international mentoring programs for women in STEM.

During her speech, HE Al Qasimi stated that literacy rate of the UAE national women hits over 95 percent compared to 31 percent in 1975. Also, women outnumber men across the different educational levels and account for more than 70 percent of higher education students.

She stated that the wise leadership of the UAE has progressively opened opportunities for women, so today after just one generation the UAE takes pride to announce “Women occupy around 30 percent of all higher management positions and generally outnumber men in the government sector. Furthermore, women lead around 50 percent of UAE’s private sector SME’s and our businesswomen manage investments over USD $4billion.”

HE Sheikha Lubna believes that empowerment and inclusion are keys to meeting the challenges of the 21st century and the UAE’s vision to transform its economy from being hydrocarbon driven but rather by knowledge, innovation, research, and Technology.

HE cited a few examples of the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Higher Policy, which were announced back in 2015 by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to diversify the economy and create employment opportunities for UAE nationals.

“Strata manufacturing, Aerospace sector supplier, employees 600 staff, 35 percent are Emirati of which 80 percent are women. The near-term target includes the Emiratization of over 60 percent positions, this will undoubtedly be achieved with the participation of women,” HE Sheikha Lubna said.

HE pointed that women are central to plans for the Energy sector, namely in Masdar City, the Dh50 billion Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai and Shams Solar project in Abu Dhabi.” “Women in STEM are also working at Sir Bani Yas wind farm, as well as the emerging nuclear sector in the UAE.

Moreover, STEM women contribute to the Space Science and Technology Sector with its combined investments of more than Dh20 Billion."

She referred to the annually event held to celebrate Women Achievements in the Middle East by L’Oreal and UNESCO in association with Zayed University, based on the factual premise that “The world needs science and science need women, because women in science have the power to change the world.”

“A lot remains to assure equal opportunity and shared governance. STEM skills become even more important in an increasingly interconnected global economy, the potential for progress is enormous and the return on investment is worth our while on multiple levels, including gender-equity, social, and economic growth,” HE Sheikha Lubna concluded.